The Majestic, Taihape
5c Tui Street
Contact Person: Simone Simpson (Manager) 06 388 1764 or 027 65 21 608
Phone: 06 388 1764
Mobile: 027 6521608
Screen: single screen, 7m x 5m, e-cinema. Digital to be installed by December 2016
Sound: good surround sound (Marantz-based)
Seating: comfortable, flip-up seats
Snackbar: small snack bar, with ice cream
Accessibility: good level street access
Linked Article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/lifestyle/89351843/majestic-theatre-serves-up-blockbusters
Sited in a NZ Historic Places Registered Building (opened 1917), this cinema was rescued from looming demolition by the Taihape Heritage Trust. With a combination of voluntary labour and grants, they rescued a lovely old building and turned it into a welcoming venue.*
It might no longer be the 'finest' in New Zealand, given the arrival of other country boutique cinemas such as Matakana, but it certainly serves its local community (a town of 1500) very well, as well as drawing patrons from nearby towns of Ohakune and Waiouru.
But like other country cinemas, it is very dependent on favourable weather, for it gets very cold in Taihape in winter (thus the blankets draped over the tip-up seats). Screenings are signalled on a 'blackboard menu' and features recent art house releases as well as school holiday films for children and parents.
This cinema is very much for the local community but also benefits from having an enthusiastic part-time manager.
As with other small town cinemas (eg Everybodys in Opunake; Anzac in Dargaville), The Majestic is now calling on the local community to assist with the necessary digital upgrade. Sponsorship is helping but if you also want to contribute to the future of this interesting country cinema, go to http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/majestictaihape#
* You can hear the story of resurrection of The Majestic on the Radio New Zealand rural programme 'Country Life', 5 November 2010 http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/countrylife/audio/2429689/majestic-theatre
Update: following a successful fundraising campaign, digital cinema was installed at The Majestic by December 2016. In November 2017, it also celebrated 100 years of cinema in Taihape, with a weekend of special events.