I think the most unsettling thing about this whole Wellington Premiere kerfuffle has been the fact that nobody was saying WHAT was wrong with the Embassy Theatre and so it was difficult to judge whether New Line’s demand that it be brought up to ”a suitable standard” was a big deal or not.
The Embassy trustees, the Mayor of Wellington and New Line have been talking to each other and although initially they were sending out some confusing signals, today it looks like they’re determined to find a solution that will keep the premiere in Wellington.
Mayor Kerry Prendergast was interviewed on Radio NZ this morning and she told listeners (finally) what New Line wanted to see improved: The seating, the toilets, the paint in the auditorium (not sure I heard that right) and the addition of a lift.
Well, that’s a relief. If they’d been asking for major structural refitting to make it earthquake-proof – something I understand the Trust would like to see happen – well, I can’t see how the work could even be done in time. But as it is, it seems do-able between now and December.
The Mayor was drawn into revealing the level of support they were thinking of offering: They would be happy to match the Embassy Trust’s contribution to the upgrade dollar for dollar, and were looking at a figure of around $2 million; apparently the Trust feels that they can match that figure from their own fundraising.
There will be a meeting later today, where the Trust will bring their revised figures for the necessary refurbishments to the theatre, and the Council will vote on their level of funding of it. So with any luck the issue should be resolved today!