The Civic Theatre in Waipukurau will re-open its doors for business next week in time for the school holidays.

The council-owned facility, which had been rebranded as The Picture House under former operator Full House Entertainment, closed at the end of February this year after 18 months, sparking outrage in the community and much speculation as to whether it would open again.

This week Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Peter Butler welcomed the new leaseholder, Sereena Parkinson, who said she was excited and looking forward to a new adventure.

"We are really pleased to be able to be part of getting this wonderful movie theatre open again. We see a real desire by locals to attend their own movie theatre," she said.


The Civic Theatre's main auditorium seats more than 275, making it Hawke's Bay's largest cinema auditorium, with an art-house cinema area with a capacity of 27 seats.

Mrs Parkinson said the initial plan was to have the movie theatre and art-house snug up and running, with plans to reopen the kitchen over the coming weeks.

She said it has been quite a process to get the Civic Theatre reopened, particularly trying to gain the confidence of movie distributors to once again supply Waipukurau.

"Unfortunately for local movie-goers, some movies will not be shown here while we continue to negotiate with one of the major distributors."

The support from the Central Hawke's Bay District Council had been great, Mrs Parkinson said, and she was encouraged by the positive comments from the public so far.

"We are working on a number of ideas for the theatre, and our aim is to make it an affordable place for families to enjoy."

- Upcoming screenings in the next month include:

Finding Dory, The BFG, Ghostbusters and Hunt For The Wilderpeople.