Change of guard at St James

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A man who is already well known in the district has stepped into the role of St James Theatre manager.

Former Selectrix sales manager Paul McPhail is the newly appointed manager, stepping into former manager Peter Cairns’ shoes.

Mr McPhail worked for Selectrix for almost 20 years and is also a financial partner in the business, he said.

But he is not a novice when it comes to theatre and entertainment.

“I’ve been involved with theatre for 17 years,” he said.

“I’ve done backstage and helped out with shows.”

He had also been involved in the theatre operations committee and the Gore Repertory Society.

When the opportunity to apply for the theatre manager’s position came, he seized it.

Not only were movies a large part of the theatre’s business, but live productions were on the increase too, he said.

Those productions included those from professional companies through to school events.

There was also an increasing number of groups keen to host fundraising movie nights, he said.

Movies were screened to suit the needs of residents. For example, there were screenings in the morning, he said.

Mr Cairns was bowing out of the job this week.

He said he was sad and excited about moving to Christchurch.

“It’s quite sad, really.”

He had already been approached by a community theatre company in Christchurch and asked to direct a production.

Mr Cairns believed Mr McPhail had a good understanding of the theatre’s operation, as he had served on the committee and worked with the St James Theatre Trust.