It’s all about whānau for new Gaiety Theatre operations officer Steph Te Amo.
With a background in early-childhood, Steph says it is the families that have kept her behind the projector at the Gaiety Theatre. “I can see our kids need a movie theatre. In these COVID times they have lost the opportunity to do so many activities that it is great to be able to still deliver movies from the big screen at the Gaiety in their hometown.”
Wairoa born and bred, Steph began as a reliever at the Gaiety, and when the operations position became available, she stepped up.
Steph admits that at first, she was not much of a film buff but has been discovering a whole lot about the industry.
“It has been a learning curve, especially over the busy summertime school holiday break.”
Steph said the theatre is a Wairoa go-to for many people with audiences of just under 100 people on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and support from around 200 Film Club members.
The Gaiety is a great place to socialise, meet friends, have a drink and enjoy a social outing while watching a movie - and we all know this type of opportunity is very limited in these COVID times. The theatre is large enough to still hold a crowd while complying with the social distancing requirements. Movie goers need a vaccination pass, and with every second row of seating taped off, movie-goers can easily follow social distancing requirements.
“We really appreciate the support we get from our local film goers and film club members. It has been a transitional couple of months, but we are on track now.”
Steph says she tries to mix up the genres of the different movies that are screened and will always take requests. “It’s often hard to know if a movie will be popular or not. It all depends on the day, the weather, and a whole lot of other factors that feature before the type of movie is even considered - so we just plan around every eventuality.”
The theatre has movies playing nine times a week, twice daily at 5pm and 8pm from Wednesday to Friday, then 2pm, 5pm and 8pm on Saturday and 2pm and 5pm on Sunday plus extended school holiday screenings.
Steph hopes to introduce more ‘sneak peaks’ where she can screen new release movies early and include themes and a fun launch.
“The movies are a fun outing and I really encourage volunteers to come and help out. It can be a lot of fun, you get to see a free movie, eat some popcorn but most of all support our community.
“The success of the theatre is dependent on the support of our community and help from a team of volunteers goes towards keeping operating costs down.
“Being a Gaiety volunteer is a great way to help and give something back to the district as well as a fun way to be involved in the world of film and entertainment.”
Anyone who is keen to find out more about being a volunteer should call into the theatre and chat with Steph or make contact through the Gaiety Theatre Facebook page.
10 February 2022
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