Tania Mccauley Imagine sitting back with a glass of wine in your hand, a plate of delectable nibbles by your elbow, watching a flick on a big screen outdoors this summer. You may not have to wait much longer.
Doris and Urs Blum are in the process of lining up movies for the inaugural Black Barn OpenAir Cinema, at the Black Barn amphitheatre in Havelock North, between January 5-16.
The vineyard will be open from 7.30pm for the movies, to be screened Wednesday to Sunday between those dates, with food and beverages available from Sam Orton Catering and Black Barn Winery.
The movies will start once the sun goes down. Originally from Switzerland, the former owners of The Master's Lodge were inspired by their own experiences attending an outdoor film festival at Lucerne two-and-a-half years ago.
"Hawke's Bay has the perfect climate for it. I don't think there are enough things to do at night of this kind. Now, you can go out to dinner, and then that's it," said Mrs Blum.
Self-confessed film freaks - they are regulars at the annual Napier International Film Festival - Mrs Blum said they had a wishlist of films they would like to put on but they hoped people would approach them with suggestions too. The technology available meant they would be restricted to movies which had been released on DVD.
"Being summer, it's unnecessary to sit in a cinema. This is an experience anybody can have," Mr Blum added. Black Barn owner Kim Thorp said there had been many discussions with people over the years about what a great venue the amphitheatre would be for open air movies, although the logistics of putting them on proved difficult.
The Blums had persevered. "It is a great opportunity for Hawke's Bay people to experience the amphitheatre in a more relaxed atmosphere and to bring along friends and family from out of town who are here over the holiday season."
He said it was not a shift in direction, "simply another great use of what is becoming a unique outdoor asset to Hawke's Bay".