The final credits have rolled at Te Puke's Capitol Cinema.
The cinema closed its doors for the last time on Saturday, its continued operation simply becoming too much for its owners, the Trebilco family.
Ross Trebilco reopened the cinema in 2000 having spent around $1 million on its refurbishment after buying it in 1997.
At one time he was working at the cinema from early morning until midnight, seven days a week. He is still involved, but his son Mark has taken on more and more responsibility over the past four or five years.
"Dad's 75, mum [Evelyn] is 72. Dad's done his time and fair enough, he's worked real hard over the years," says Mark.
"This place used to be a seven-day operation and he was here from eight [in the morning] and sometimes up to 17 hours a day. It's a long day and he's tired - and he still does the farm, still goes home and feeds out.
"My sister was managing the place for a while, up until about five years ago when I stepped up to help out."
Mark says the cinema was "doing quite well, up until Covid".
"With Covid, the patronage just dropped right off. Other theatres have come along too at Tauriko, United at Bayfair - they came on last year, that's obviously affected us a bit - and Pāpāmoa as well."
While people would still come to Te Puke to experience cinema as it used to be in the art deco Capitol, Mark says its operation had become too much for one person, but not enough to support two.
"It would only take me to get sick and I could be out for a couple of weeks and there's nobody to replace me."
Up until the closure, Evelyn would also help out, often serving at the candy bar.
"But I don't do the ice creams," she says. "My husband doesn't let me do them, he says they are too untidy."
Mark says while he won't miss the hours, he will miss the building, saying it has a personality.
"It will be sad to not be coming here, but there are other things to do.
"We made good friendships with people over the years and they've been loyal, so we'll miss that but I'll still see some of them around town."
He is unsure about the building's fate.
"We've got people wanting projectors and seats and screens and things like that, so we'll try and get rid of as much of the stuff as possible, sell that on over the coming months and then we'll just sell it as an empty building."
In the lead-up to the closure, there were plenty of well-wishers.
"We've had a lot of people coming through and saying they are sad we are closing and wishing us all the best. The community has been really good - it's just been nice to be part of that community and we've done as much for it as we can. Now it's just the end of an era."
The Capitol Cinema was one of the last remaining art deco cinema buildings and multi-screen movie complexes in the country.
A large doorway on one side of the stage, which has since been removed, enabled travelling circus elephants to enter for live shows - hugely popular during the 1930s and 1940s.
Cinemascope widescreen movie technology was added in 1954 but in 1978 the Capitol closed due to dwindling sales.
It stood empty until Ross came along in the 1990s.
"The entrance area used to be a pet shop, but the back was just open through to the stage that was still there," says Mark. "There were a couple of fire escapes that were open and holes in the roof. Dad must have spent at least $2 million on it [over the years]."
The cinema reopened on September 20 2000 as a single screen theatre with about 500 seats. The first movie shown was Perfect Storm, an occasion Mark remembers well.
It was later converted to a four-screen complex and was the first cinema outside Auckland to have 3D technology.
"That was huge," says Evelyn. "I think it was the only time we had to put the house full signs out."
The last three movies to be screened were Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Lost City and The Batman.
HISTORY OF CAPITOL CINEMA
■ 1929: Alliance Hall rebuilt and named The Capitol Theatre following a fire.
■ 1930: Screened the first "talkie".
■ 1931: Held a monster earthquake relief concert.
■ 1945: Victory Ball for VJ Day.
■ 1954: First New Zealand theatre adapted to Cinemascope widescreen.
■ 1978: Theatre closed due to dwindling sales.
■ 1997: Capital Cinema bought by Ross Trebilco.
■ 2000: Reopened after $1 million refurbishment.
■ 2003: Among first cinemas worldwide to screen The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King.
■ 2009: Became the only theatre outside Auckland to have 3D technology.
■ 2014: Hosted the world premiere of the locally produced movie The Z-Nail Gang.