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Gaiety projector fixed

Gaiety 3 002

‘Baby we‘re back’.

Movies will once again be back on the big screen with the Gaiety Theatre projector repaired and ready to roll.

A technical breakdown with the Series 1 Christie projector meant the end of local movie screenings in August last year.

Since then, the search has been on across New Zealand and Australia to find the right parts to get the ‘blue tin can’ up and running again.

On Tuesday, Tim Le Petit, Technical Manager for the Hoyts Cinema Technology Group, came to Wairoa again with new parts he had been able to track down and ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ in a bid to fix the projector. He said it was either going to be a quick fix with the right part, a longer five-hour job or worst scenario a trip back to Auckland. “Luckily for us it only took 45 minutes to replace the parts and be humming again.”

Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna says he knows the Wairoa community will be thrilled to have the Gaiety back in action.

“We are now working with the movie distributors to access movies, arranging theatre staff, restocking the box office and we will open the cinema doors as soon as possible.

“A big thank you to Tim for his commitment to getting us up and running again and also thank you to the Wairoa community for your patience.

“Council has started applying for external funding for a new projector so that we don’t have to rely on the older model Christie, and we hope in the future to be able to carry out an upgrade.”

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little is thrilled the projector has been repaired. “This has been a long wait for our community, and it is great to have some positive news. This is a good thing happening in our town and I really hope people get out and support the movie screenings. This is especially welcome news to those people who have been affected so badly by the flooding and a chance for them to enjoy a movie and take their minds off their challenges. It is great that movies will soon be showing again. Thank you to Steve Fabish, Council’s interim group manager and also to the Hoyts Cinema Technology Group for their work.”

The Series 1 Christie projector is around 15 years old, and while it is solid and reliable, when it does break down it can be significant, particularly as it is so hard to source parts. They stopped making this type of projector about 10 years ago and stopped supplying parts around six years ago.

Tim said the Gaiety equipment has been given a complete service and there has been additional training with Council staff.

The Series 1 Christie is the only one of its type that Tim looks after in New Zealand. It was originally based in Victoria Australia at a Hoyts site and was decommissioned and replaced with newer technology.

Tim said this is the first major breakdown we have seen and hopefully we are now sorted and there will be a few more movies left in the ‘blue tin can’ yet.

Photo Caption: The Gaiety Theatre projector is repaired. Pictured is Tim Le Petit, Technical Manager for the Hoyts Cinema Technology Group, who replaced parts in the Series 1 Christie projector on Tuesday. Movies will be back on the Gaiety’s big screen as soon as possible.

11 May 2023

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