$10k theatre assessment ‘just the beginning’

A full house at the Alexandra Memorial Theatre in 2015. Photo: ODT.
A full house at the Alexandra Memorial Theatre in 2015. Photo: ODT.
Further assessing the condition of the Alexandra Memorial Theatre, at a cost of almost  $10,000, will probably  be "just the beginning" of work  needed there, the Vincent Community Board has been told.

The board voted last week to spend $9920 on an engineering assessment of what would be required to upgrade the theatre’s stage structure and equipment to meet current health and safety standards.

Board member Russell Garbutt said the money was "nothing like" the amount that would be required to upgrade the theatre, and the board should be prepared "for quite a significant expense".

Central Otago District Council property and facilities officer Christina Martin confirmed the spending would be "just a start", but board members agreed the work was needed and voted unanimously to approve funding the assessment.

Concerns about the Alexandra theatre’s stage structure and equipment had been raised by the Alexandra Musical Society and John Herber Theatre Supplies, a theatre curtain specialist company, engaged to assess the condition of the theatre curtains, Ms Martin said.

Rod Peters, of Theatre Systems and Design Ltd, was then commissioned to provide an initial report on the stage structure and equipment, but the report said further engineering assessment was needed.

Mr Peters’ report showed various parts of the theatre did not comply with health and safety requirements and board chairwoman Sharleen Stirling-Lindsay asked what had been done about that.

Ms Martin said various safety measures were put in place immediately, including removing non-compliant lighting.

Wanaka firm Batchelar McDougall Consulting Ltd would carry out the further engineering assessment.

pam.jones@odt.co.nz

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