We go down to the Capitol Cinema at Te Puke to see The Pa Boys – it’s the only place it’s on round here. Built in 1905, the main street exterior of this old, traditional, small town or suburban cinema has leadlights in its windows.
Inside there is no evidence of age or decay – there’s bright new carpet and bright cheerful lighting. But at the far end of the foyer at “box office and ice cream shop” the mirrorred panel looks decidedly art deco with its acid etched stretching female figure.
The terrazo steps upstairs are wellworn as are the smoothly sleek wooden handrails with their round pillar lights. It’s reminiscent of the era of the Civic in Auckland.
All around the foyer at the top of the walls are the original handpainted murals. These have been deliberately retained. The cinema’s worth a visit just to see these.
The owner tells us the cinema has been “modernised” twice. On the second occasion and I presume under his watch, he took steps to find a specialised craftsman to repair the original decorative plasterwork décor panels. The curtained interiors of the actual cinemas have comfortable modern seating and subdued décor – no different from any other contemporary cinema.
On my impulsive second visit to the Capital Cinema to see an Elton John Concert film, I go over the road to photograph the traditional icecream cake front facade. It’s all cream tourqoise and apricot. It looks just like those old birthday cakes – just gorgeous.
She sits down next to me – I can’t believe it. She’s come all the way from Omokoroa to this Te Puke cinema. I don’t know why I’m surprised I’ve come down here twice from Whakamarama 17 minutes north of Tauranga and its two cinema complexes. Why? I like the ambiance of the Capitol and it’s an icon which should be supported by the community. I hope what it is, is appreciated by the local business and tourist promotion association.
I leave with two posters. One is a nuclear explosion of colour for some film I’ve never heard of and the other is for The Pa Boys. Worth the drive from Whakamarama to Te Puke – you betcha!
To see a full list of sessions at Capitol Cinema 4 Te Puke CLICK HERE
131 Jellicoe Street, Te Puke 07 573 8055 www.tepukecinema.co.nz