A theatrette and a projector able to show more-modern movies are among some of the plans ahead for the Dannevirke Regent Cinema.
Graeme Moffatt, of MovieFest Charitable Trust, said the Regent's trustees were now in a position to start moving ahead with their plans to make the local cinema an attraction to both residents and visitors to the town.
The trust is running a short film competition, with the registrations period having been extended to the end of August.
Moffatt said he had extended the area for the competition to include the Manawatu in the hope of getting more aspiring film-makers to enter.
He said he did have a couple of entries from Auckland and would accept them, but the focus was to try to get entries from the Tararua, as well as the Manawatu.
There were three categories: primary school, secondary school and hobbyist.
Entrants would need to produce a three-to-five-minute movie on a specific topic, which would be announced later.
Judges were professionals from the industry including a local actor with several credits to her name, an award winning film-maker, a sound recordist and a stage actress.
There was also a colouring competition and a few entries had already been sent in.
Moffatt said the next step was to start applying for grants to continue improving the facilities.
One aim was to buy a projector that would allow the cinema to play more-modern movies.
However, the new projector could potentially cost $80,000.
Plans are also under way to build a theatrette in the foyer of the cinema that would cater to an audience of up to 16 people.
Moffatt said this would give them the ability to screen a wide range of films using the e-projection system the cinema now used.
The trustees were also considering other options such as a cans film festival where moviegoers could pay for their ticket with a can of food, which would then be donated to one of the local foodbanks.
There was also an opportunity for local people to join what is "effectively a film club", Moffatt said, with discounts and free tickets offered as part of the membership.
The cinema reopened in April and so far attendance had been "up and down" with some movies being more popular than others.
With the school holiday coming up, it was hoped that showing Disney films such as Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and Peter Pan would encourage younger audiences.
"We need bums on seats," Trevor Moore, who would be assisting with management of the cinema, explained.
Moore, who approached Moffatt to offer his help, said he volunteered because he wanted to do something to give back to the community.
"It's something that the community could really get behind and better our town.
"If I can help grow this town, make this town an attraction, I'm all keen for it.
"I just want the community to really get behind it."
Moffatt was also keen to develop the museum to showcase the history of film in New Zealand.
He said the perception was the panel display of photographs was the museum, which was wrong.
"The whole building is the museum."