Dannevirke's Regent Theatre, built in 1918 on the site of the original Bank of NSW, is about to reopen after being closed since 2011.

The theatre is registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Board as a category two building in recognition of its historical and cultural heritage significance and had the record for being New Zealand's only provincial theatre from the World War I era to have remained open continuously, apart from short periods for repair and refurbishment, until its closure in 2011.

Now the owner's daughters, Stephanie and Alison Amboy, are looking to reopen the historic theatre in July, but they need money for a new projector to keep up with new technology and allow the theatre on High St to screen the latest movies.

"I'm very excited because as a child I grew up around this cinema and so I'm determined to see it open again," Stephanie told the Dannevirke News.


"I'm treating this project as my little baby and can't wait until we're showing movies again."

Stephanie said it was sad the Regent had been closed, and since reopening the Regent Cafe in the same building, she had people come in to reminisce about the cinema.

The 200-seat theatre requires "just a little refurbishment" and Stephanie is also planning a fresh coat of paint but she won't be interfering with the wonderful Art Deco tiling and heritage.

A community committee is being formed to help run the Regent which originally opened as the Arcadia and was refurbished in 1934 as the Delux Theatre, before being refurbished once more in 1989.

Designed in the Spanish mission style, it is one of the earliest examples of buildings constructed in this style. The first was the Municipal Theatre, Hastings, built five years before the Regent.

In 2012, Christchurch-based businessman Bradley Knewstubb indicated he was interested in leasing the theatre, but in early 2013 changed his mind and Dannevirke residents were forced to head out of town for their movie nights.

And at one time Dannevirke had two choices when it came to going to the movies, the Town Hall, affectionately known as the bug house, and the Regent.