|EVERYBODYS THEATRE AKA: TIVOLI, WESTEND [1915 - 1995]|
EVERYBODY'S (des. Wm Gray Young)
57 Cathedral squareTIVOLI (des. Cecil Wood (Paul Pascoe))
seating 747WESTEND (des. Rigby & Mullan)
Now: Cinema closed. Recently the building has been used as a successful e-mail cafe in the lobby area. I'm told the auditorium itself is still there, but in such a derelict state that it would need a major investment to meet modern safety standards. Late 2003 the Westend fascia was removed revealing the remains of a poster (It's a Mad Mad Mad World I think) and the art deco Tivoli styling, which has since been refreshed with a coat of paint. At night the name is illuminated in neon lights.
Memories: The late night screenings in its last few years were a cult favourite, especially with the God Save the Queen clip being played before each film.
Tivoli new dealforeign films for chch.
Canta Wednesday July 11, 1961
AT last. Christchurch filmgoers may now get a little relief from their aesthetic malnutrition, induced by a diet of waste-master dramas. custard comedies, and Los Angeles Romans with wide-screen teeth.
With the brilliant Jazz on a Summer's Day the Tivoli theatre inaugurated its new policy of showing foreign and off-beat films. Independent theatres in Wellington and Auckland have long provided for the demand In those centres. The Tivoli's change, the first Kerridge-Odeon venture of its kind, will enable those In the city's audience who regard the cinema as an art form and not merely a laxative for suburban constipation, to see films previously denied them.
Interviewed by "Canta", the manager, Mr T. King, related how the new policy arose. When James Fitzpatrick personally appeared In the theatre last year, he saw its possibilities, and on his return to Auckland he made his recommendations to Sir Robert Kerridge. A few months later the decision came through. The next step was the redecoration of the theatre - Installation of new seating (the theatre holds 750), re-painting and carpeting of the auditorium and foyer. Incidentally, the New Deal was introduced about a week ahead of schedule - damage to the decorations was feared. . .
Here Mr King enlarged on audience problems. Previously. the Tivoli has screened sanguinary double-features, appealing to the less discerning (!). Under the circumstances, its reputation for fish-and-chips and leather Jackets has to be lived down. Details of the counter-attack: no more late-night or Sunday sessions, publicity aimed at past as well as present patrons. For a while (here's hoping it won't be long) films that have had exceptionally long runs in the North Island will be screened, to attract custom formerly restricted to theatres such as the Odeon or the Regent.
OUTSTANDING in a list of forthcoming titles are two Bergman films, Virgin Spring and Wild Strawberries, The former has been awaited here with great interest and Impatience. Set In fourteenth century Sweden, it is basically a symbolic drama of innocence destroyed and the murderous revenge that follows. (N.B. - See coming issues of "Canta" for preview of this and other films.) As for the incomparable Wild Strawberries, even those who saw It several times during the film festival earlier this year will undoubtedly enjoy it with the untarnished appreciation every classic continues to evoke. For the unchastely ignorant redemption is at hand.
Other films coming are Raisin In the Sun, Floods of Fear, and Faces In the Dark. They are, most regrettably. interspersed with custard comedies-someone must be afraid of intimidating the masses. However, one must remember that Wellington and Auckland have larger European populations than this city, which accounts to a considerable extent for the more enlightened audiences there. And feelings of anguish and outrage al the prospect of a Bergman masterpiece sharing company with In the Doghouse (another "British comedy" undoubtedly in the pies-puns-panties "Carry On" tradition) will be mitigated by a promise of a Festival of Films, to be presented shortly.
What films would we like the Tivoli to show? When a "Canta" reporter questioned a few, there were demands particularly for work from the French New Wave: Breathless, L'Aventura, Hiroshima Mon Amour were some named. There were requests for the return of Fellini's La Dolce Vita, II Bidoni, La Strada. Others wanted: Black Orpheus, Shadows, Come Back Africa, and further works of Ingmar Bergman - The Magician, Waiting Women, The Seventh Seal, Through a Glass Darkly.
The change of policy at the Tivoli deserves grateful applause, Even more, the theatre deserves general and intelligent patronage.
helps support the activites of the CANTERBURY FILM SOCIETY