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Ready and waiting . . . The Oamaru Opera House staff, (from left) Maddy Maxwell, Sarahann du Plooy, Gregg Lovatt, David McFarlane, Carla Arlidge, and Frances McElhinney, will literally wait on patrons who attend next week?s movie screening in the main auditorium. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

The Oamaru Opera House is hosting its “first large event” at Alert Level 2 next week.

It is inviting people to watch the movie Chicago next Thursday night in its main auditorium.

With Covid-19 Level 2 restrictions in place, the auditorium can hold 100 people. They will be seated straight away, then staff will serve them drinks.

“This will be our first large event at Level 2,” Oamaru Opera House director Frances McElhinney said.

She urged people to go along “dressed to kill”, in keeping with the theme of the movie. Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere, it won six Academy Awards in 2003.

The musical version was performed live in the opera house in 2013 by the Oamaru Operatic Society (now Musical Theatre Oamaru).

Mrs McElhinney said she and her staff selected movies with relevance to local audiences. This would be the fourth movie screened in recent weeks, following Happy Feet and The Wizard of Oz in the school holidays and The Angels’ Share on August 6.

The latter, about whisky, opened with tastings of malts matured in Oamaru by the New Zealand Whisky Collection, and the Happy Feet screening involved people from the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony.

“We want things that fit, that can work in with people in the community.”

There was no fixed schedule for future movies, but more would be run in the next school holidays.

“We want to get people back in [to the venue] and keep it affordable and accessible.”

Staff were liaising with Dagmar Rohrbach and Helen Riley-Duddin, who wanted to bring regular movie sessions back to town, she said.

Chicago starts at 7.30pm. Tickets can be bought directly from the opera house or booked on 433-0770.