"I think it’s wonderful — warm and welcoming — but such a lot of money," resident Beverly Holden said.
"I hope it’s not too expensive for Balclutha to run with all that (technology)."
Technicians at the $25 million civic centre demonstrated the auditorium’s automatic collapsible seating, drop-down screen and sound system by playing classic music from the 1950s.
"It was amazing . . . hard to take it all in . . . The view of the bridge over the river was magnificent," Mrs Gonda Stoop said.
"But Balclutha’s a small town with a lot of closed shops.
"Hopefully, enough people stay for things to happen there to make it worthwhile."
Holmdene activities co-ordinator Stacey Wilson said the outing was "a great afternoon, enjoyed by all."
"We looked in the movie theatre which we found out can take four wheelchairs, so we will most definitely be back to watch a movie," she said.
In general, the elderly visitors said they were thoroughly impressed with the scale, look and accessibility of the building but there were shrewd musings over the cost of renting spaces, the consultation process with ratepayers on naming the facility, and the purpose of the heavy wooden steps facing the entrance.