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Friday, March 11, 2011

Final curtain call for Mill Theatre as red sticker brings wrecker's ball

Final curtain call for Mill Theatre as red sticker brings wrecker's ball

Last updated 09:32 10/03/2011
Christchurch theatres have been dealt a tough blow by the earthquake with another set to meet the wrecker's ball.

The large four-storey brick mill in Wise St, Addington, was built at the turn of the 20th century but yesterday its fate was decided with a red sticker.

The Mill Theatre, home to amateur group The Riccarton Players, escaped relatively unscathed in September's quake but met its match this time round.

Secretary and founding member Doug Clarke, QSM, said the damage to the building was extensive.

"We've got issues with the roof and lots of bricks have come down through the building.

"There wasn't too much damage after the big one, it's been worsened by all the bloody aftershocks."

Clarke said members of the Riccarton Players' committee would retrieve important items from the theatre before it was demolished. He stressed it was only the building that had been condemned.

"I'm gutted, obviously, but I'm determined to make sure we find somewhere and rebuild.

"A club is only as good as its membership and our membership is strong."

The Mill Theatre is among many buildings which face an uncertain future.

The Repertory Theatre had been red-stickered but narrowly escaped demolition yesterday after an appeal to conserve parts of the building.

Court Theatre chief executive Philip Aldridge said the future of the theatre relied heavily on the state of the Christchurch Arts Centre.

"Obviously the whole area has been red-stickered but we are working hard to get the Court up and running as soon as possible," he said.

Isaac Theatre Royal general manager Neil Cox said the building on Gloucester St had suffered moderate damage and would remain closed until further notice.

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