Foxy Roxy open for business
The red carpet was rolled out in Miramar this week, for the star-studded gala opening of The Roxy cinema. I know because I was there. Having heard that there would be a glittery dance troupe to entertain the guests, I donned my spangly leotard and snuck in through the back door. Inside were wall-to-wall celebs including Celia, Gandalf, and that guy from The Office. It was super-glam to beat the band.
The Capitol Theatre was built in 1928, and screened its last reel in 1964 before spending the next 30-odd years as a shopping mall. It was earmarked for apartments when Oscar-winning film fellow Jamie Selkirk rescued it in 2003. Eight years down the line the revamped and renamed Roxy is open, with screenings beginning on April 7.
Weta co-owner Tania Rodger is a key investor, along with several other players who between them see the venture as ‘payback to the community.’ The benefits will undoubtedly flow on, because you can guarantee that local shop owners will be whipping out the paintbrush in an order to keep up. This beauty has raised Miramar’s bar.
The Roxy looks a million dollars, although the figure was closer to seven. But grand designs seldom come cheap. She’s an art deco darling alright, all sharp lines and pastels, custom-made carpet underfoot. There are handcrafted chattels and a collection of period lightshades to turn you green with envy. The golden days of the movie era are conjured up in a veritable exhibition of movie pseudo-memorabilia including Metropolis maschinenmensch sculptures and a statue of Gollum. The second-floor grand foyer has a fantastical ceiling mural by Greg ‘Dr Grordbort’ Broadmore, inclined to give you a crick in your neck. It’s all, rather fittingly, out of this world – ‘Weta magic sprinkled throughout the building,’ says Ms Rodger.
There are two theatres, one seating 154, the other 55. Both are wired up with state-of-the-art Dolby Digital cinema systems, the larger with 3D. The night’s special screening (a short montage of classics) kicked off with the aforementioned dancers whirling around in front of the shimmery ‘waterfall’ curtain. With all these glitzy goings-on I almost failed to notice the all-round splendor of the theatre and the most important feature of all – plush, comfy seating with a table for your wine glass.
Coco, the lounge bar and restaurant, is now open. Valentina Dias of popular Cafe Polo is handling the food side of business, while Jonny McKenzie of Hawthorn & Cuckoo is managing the bar.
The cinema was officially opened by Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellen. With copious wit and a snip of the scissors, the deed was done. ‘Good luck to the Roxy and everyone who makes love here.’ Form an orderly queue for the back row seats!