Hokitika’s Regent Theatre was established in 1935. The Regent, at the time, boasted the latest “state of the art” 35mm projection equipment. However nowadays, that equipment is less than adequate, particularly with the increasing number of films being released on a digital format. This meant the projection equipment needed upgrading. In early 2009 the Regent had the first of a two-stage renovation take place. During this renovation, the entire exterior and auditorium was re-painted in colours that were as close to the originals as possible. The interior renovations also saw the entire roof area, insulated to retain as much heat as possible in the auditorium.
In mid-2009, a new fully-digital projection system was installed. The Regent also installed a digital surround-sound system, and a new roll down screen. A few weeks after re-opening, the cinema had digital 3D installed; the only Xpand system in New Zealand at the time. Hokitika’s Regent Theatre was then the only fully digital cinema in New Zealand. This meant that they could get a film the day it was released nationwide. Although the Regent is a single-screen complex, it has more than 350 seats, catering to many more than other modern cinemas. Since re-opening, the Regent has seen in excess of 15,000 people pass through it’s doors – more than 5000 to see Avatar 3D alone.
The theatre renovations are not yet finished and work is continuing on the seat restorations. You can be part of this with our Sponsor a Seat campaign. Further information and application forms are available at the theatre, or click on the 'SUPPORT OUR THEATRE' tab on the top right hand side of this page.