The curtains might be closing on a beloved Waipukurau theatre.

The termination of the Waipukurau Picture House lease will be discussed at a publicly excluded Central Hawke's Bay District Council meeting this morning.

Council chief executive John Freeman said the current lessee had approached council on a "without prejudice basis" to see under what terms and conditions her lease for the premises could be terminated.

The council-owned picture house, which has been entertaining people since 1981, has had three leaseholders.


The current operator, Catherine Hobbs-Turner, took over the lease under Full House Entertainment Ltd in 2014. She also rebranded the premises as The Picture House, previously known as The Civic Theatre.

She said she was unable to comment on the situation, but as of yesterday, the Picture House website only advertised movie showings until Monday, and had no movies listed in the "coming soon" section.

The previous leaseholders of the theatre had been Jim and Sandra Shand from 1999, and George Mitchell from 1981.

Only last year the majority of a $118,000 upgrade was completed at the theatre, as part of the 2012-2022 long term plan.

This upgrade was under budget by $106,000.

In the long term plan consultation on the building's future one of the options, based on ratepayers' views, was to close the theatre or sell the building.

This would achieve rates savings of $200,000 per annum in operating and maintenance costs, with potential to reduce debt from the proceeds of the sale of the building.

The theatre was said to be Hawke's Bay's only cinema featuring RealD 3D technology. As well as showing films, the premises also held a restaurant and is used for meetings and conferences.

Last month it was reported 6517 had attended in the year to date, with 661 film sessions screened.