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Taking on new life . . . Whitestone City team leader Priscilla Martin (left) and Tourism Waitaki marketing manager Lisa Smith are excited to start screening movies in the tourism attraction's theatrette. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

During the day Whitestone City is a visitor attraction, but at night it is about to be transformed into a movie theatre.

From April 18, Whitestone City will start screening movies in its 30-seat theatrette at 7.30pm every Thursday.

Whitestone City team leader Priscilla Martin said it was an “exciting” new development for the tourist attraction, and filled a gap left in Oamaru after the closure of Limelight Cinema.

“The facility is here – we’ve got good sound, we’ve got a projector ready to go,” Ms Martin said.

Films will come from Rialto, an independent film company specialising in independent, arthouse, foreign language and documentary titles.

The first film to be screened is Amazing Grace, based on William Wilberforce’s political career through his 20s and 30s, raising the issue of slavery in political circles and throughout the country.

“I think people in Oamaru will quite like that one,” she said.

Tourism Waitaki marketing manager Lisa Smith said it was a new element for Whitestone City and the town.

“During the day this [Whitestone City] is very much a visitor destination, and then this [movie night] is aimed more at the locals, people who live in or around the area,” Mrs Smith said.

“It’s really nice to be able to do things that bring the district together.”

Movies will be screened once a week, as a trial, in the existing Whitestone City theatrette used to show videos about the Victorian era.

“We’ll do that for a start and we’ll just see how it goes,” Ms Martin said.

“If there’s a high demand, we could possibly add in another night, or another screening or something.”

At present, theatre capacity is 30 people, with a mixture of theatre seats and couches, but that could be increased to about 50 if there is demand.

“It’s a quirky movie theatre for a quirky town,” Mrs Smith said.

Tickets will go on sale next week for the April 18 screening and are $15 each.

Each movie will screen for two weeks before a new title is introduced.