Metro Gold Class cinema succumbs to Christchurch earthquake


It is well over a month since the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and none of the city cinemas had reopened as of press time. A few suburban complexes are back in operation, including Hoyts Northlands and Riccarton. At the start of April, engineers released a list of 128 buildings that are to be demolished. They include one cinema complex, the Metro Gold Class three-screen art house in the city. It was built in 1986 and went though several transitions before becoming the Gold Class Cinemas a few years ago.

Mad Max: Fury Road
has moved closer to a start date, with the production company signing a two-year lease with the new Broken Hill Film Studio in the desert mining town. The much-delayed film is now due to start in August. Designers at Ford Australia have created two new Interceptor cars. Both are currently models, but the chosen one is expected to be built for the film.

Australia's Film Critics Circle heaped awards on the crime drama Animal Kingdom, honoring it as Best Film and singling out director David Michod, actress Jacki Weaver, and actors Ben Mendelsohn and Joel Edgerton.

Screen Australia and the West Australian government have invested in the new Sam Worthington surfing drama Drift. It has been described as a character-driven action film in the style of Point Break.

Independent cinema operator Palace announced it will be opening a new eight-plex at Green Square. The location is a newly redeveloped suburb that was previously a heavily industrial area.

In 1998, Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia won a Tony Award for the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's play A View from the Bridge. He has been trying to get a film made ever since, coming close in 2005. But production is now due to start mid-year on a film adapted by Andrew Bovell. Despite being set in New York, it will be filmed in Melbourne and will star LaPaglia alongside Mia Wasikowska, Vera Farmiga and Sam Neill. A previous film version was made by the late Sidney Lumet in 1962, starring Raf Vallone and Maureen Stapleton.

E-mail your Australia/New Zealand news items to David Pearce at