Marking 80th with treasures from past

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The SBS St James Theatre celebrates its 80th birthday next week with a blast from the past.
The celebrations will take place over three days from Friday, July 1, to Sunday, July 3.
Those looking to attend will be able to enjoy everything they love about the theatre from seeing past footage to hearing its history and wining and dining with some nibbles and drinks to toast the jubilee.
The festivities start on Friday night with the screening of a New Zealand classic, Goodbye Pork Pie.
‘‘The film has scenes shot around Gore and other areas familiar with Southlanders,’’ SBS St James manager Peter Cairns said.
He said tickets for the screening were available now from the theatre.
The next day marks a busier day of celebrations as the theatre looks to take its audience for ‘‘A Trip Down Memory Lane’’.
Starting at 2.30pm, Mr Cairns said the theatre would celebrate with film clips from older movies and local film archive material supplied by Nga Taonga Sound and Vision and the New Zealand Film Archive.
‘‘Some things to look forward to include archive footage of 1964’s These New Zealanders and lots of other archive footage. We’ll provide a collection that will give a sense of nostalgia and bring a smile to the faces of those attending,’’ he said.
Also included in this, people will be able to stand up to God Save the King.
Some formalities will follow, with a cakecutting and speeches, followed by nibbles and drinks.
On Saturday morning, the theatre will be open to the public along with the Gore Musical Theatre rooms.
‘‘This will give people an opportunity to see the workings of the theatre and the scale of redevelopment that has been undertaken.’’
The Gore Musical Theatre rooms are in what used to be the Ace of Spades bar, a popular haunt for some theatre staff between sessions on a Saturday in days gone by.
Tickets for ‘‘A Trip Down Memory Lane’’ are available at the theatre for $20.
On Sunday, a live performance will be given by the Ascot Park Hotel Brass and guest artists, which will feature classic movie themes over the years.
The Ascot Park Hotel Brass is ranked as the top brass band in Otago and Southland and fourth in New Zealand.
‘‘The tickets are just $10 with the money going to the Gore Musical Theatres’s artistic development fund which helps train young people involved in the theatre and develop their theatre skills,’’ Mr Cairns said.
Mr Cairns hoped to see many people during the weekend including regulars, those new to the theatre and past theatre staff and committee members.
‘‘We have ex-staff travelling from as far away as Christchurch for the weekend and have received photos from ex-staff in Australia,’’ Mr Cairns said.
He hoped the staff would come along with some of their old stories and memories of the theatre.