Apr 6, 2008

Christchurch Heritage Disaster

Built in 1915 as the Everybody's Theatre and renamed in 1934 as the Tivoli Cinema and then the Westend in 1971, the theatre was speedily demolished in May, 2007.

Christchurch City Councilor and heritage advocate Anna Crighton is reported as having said the demise of the cinema marked the end of the grand movie theatre facades that were once dotted around Cathedral Square. It was extremely disappointing that the facade had not been listed for protection in the city plan.

Crighton's comment might be considered somewhat hypocritical as her Council did nothing to stop the destruction of the 1880 neo-Gothic Sunnyside Hospital at Addington.

Update: June 12, 2008

Property developer David Henderson is selling the Chancery Lane precinct site, which comprises 2,700 square metres in six titles. It includes the heritage-listed 1914 Sevicke Jones building and a vacant site formerly the Tivoli/Westend cinema as well as the buildings facing onto the lane. A July 31 deadline is set for the sale but no price tag is mentioned.

Henderson is reported as saying, "Chancery Lane was a redevelopment site where the concern was that we've got a heap of redevelopment sites and working on it would detract from other projects."

Update: 2 August 2008

The Christchurch City Council refuses to confirm it is considering buying central city properties from developer Dave Henderson.

Councillors and officials are staying silent about a mystery property purchase discussed by the council behind closed doors last week.

Several sources have told The Press newspaper that the council is considering a deal on Henderson's Chancery Lane development property.

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