Cinema Details

Gaiety Cinema & Theatre (Wairoa)

Contact Details
252 Marine Parade

Wairoa, Northern Hawke’s Bay

Contact Person: Zach Stark, Manager & Artistic Director, 027 359 8671,
Phone: 06 281 5075
Mobile: 027 359 8671


Capacity: 250
Screen: 14.5m x 5m screen. 2K digital projection
Sound: A hand-built system, which is exceptional (Zach, the manager, is a sound expert)
Seating: Large, open auditorium, with fixed row seating. Slightly cantilevered.
Snackbar: Snackbar. Great cafe next door.
Accessibility: Good, flat access
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Geoff's Review
Rebuilt from the original 1928 building after the 1931 Napier earthquake, the Gaiety stands as a impressive double-brick clad cinema in Marine Parade (fronting the Wairoa River). The original cinema, the centre of the district's social life, closed in 1967 and lay idle and uncared for until local boy Geoff Hole purchased it, put blood and sweat into it, and re-opened it as a premiere cinema venue for the district in 1997.
Geoff has strong emotional ties to his theatre--his grandfather helped build it, his mother and father had their first date there and Geoff saw his first film there.
There was considerable local support for the Gaiety during these years (packed house for films such as Boy, or live shows such as the Maori Television revival of It's In The Bag) during the years when Geoff was in charge. It also hosted the biennial Maori Film Festival but closed once again when the struggle to keep going got too much.
Then the Wairoa District came to the rescue in 2015, with the Gaiety's doors re-opening in July 2015, with the Maori Film Festival returning. In its first year of operation under this new arrangement, more than 14,000 locals and visitors have seen films at the Gaiety.
The interior refit has been done exceedingly well, with an extraordinary sound system. A Baby Steinway piano lurks behind a curtain.
The enthusiastic young manager (Zach Stark) regards the theatre as "Wairoa's Window to the World" and has plans for enhancing this vision eg he is developing a recording studio in a backstage space.
A great asset to this East Coast town , where film-going is affordable --all tickets are $10, with regular screening Wednesday to Sunday