Regent on Broadway
|Location||Palmerston North Central, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand|
|Owner||Palmerston North City Council|
Designed in 1929 by Charles Holingshed of Sydney, the theatre complex was officially opened to the public on 4 July 1930. Its original use was as a cinema and opera house, but, with the decline of the movie over the decades, the Regent closed in 1991. However, the public response was so great, that, in 1993, Palmerston North City Council agreed to contribute the sum of $10,000,000, followed by a community donation of $1,700,000, and $1,000,000 from New Zealand Lotteries Grant Board.
The auditorium has painted panels on the roof, all of which were cleaned up during the renovations of the 1990s. The staircase leading up to the mezzanine floor is carpeted in the centre, with marble on the sides. The lobby is carpeted, with a special weave being manufactured by Feltex carpets, an exact copy of the linoleum, still lying underneath the carpet. The mezzanine floor has carved kowhaiwhai panels in the ceiling.
Regent On Broadway is described as being 'among the top four performing arts centres in New Zealand', alongside Wellington Town Hall, Christchurch Town Hall and Auckland Town Hall. The auditorium itself can seat 1393 people; 721 on the ground floor and 672 in the circle (upstairs) some of the downstairs seating can be removed for functions such as dinners and ballroom dancing. Adjacent to the auditorium are several small dressing rooms, and larger dressing rooms can be found up a flight of stairs. The venue also boasts a large function room, upstairs from the mezzanine, and a rehearsal studio, which is used for numerous activities, ranging from ballets dancing to stage rehearsals. Because of the wide range of activities available in the venue it is one of New Zealand's most busiest venues with one of the highest turnarounds. It is still the only large theatre in the greater Palmerston North area.
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