NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!
Also known as: Midday Theatre, Alska Theatre
Location: Westpac Lane, 147 Hereford Street, Central Christchurch
Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake
Active as a live music venue: 1997 – 2000
Bar Manager: Nick Paris
Wonderful quirky cinema theatre resurrected by Christchurch Film Society boffin Nick Paris in 1998, after years of neglect. Originally the Mid-city Theatre and one of many cinemas that were dotted around the Christchurch Square until major movie complexes started to dominate in the early 90’s.
Under Paris’ management, movies were often accompanied by either live musical performances (i.e. the largely dialog-free Baraka and Microcosmos), or were given opening-night parties with live bands performing in the foyer.
On some occasions the entire venue was put aside for live performances – of particular note was Stereolab’s sole Christchurch show in 1998, supported by local group Hawaii Five-O.
The quirky nature of the theatre was exemplified by it’s inclusion in the Christchurch editions of Ant Timpsons’ Incredibly Strange Film Festival, run ably by local nutball’s Steve Austin and Nick White.
After the Lumiere closed down around 2000 it was converted in to an English language school, before being damaged and eventually demolished after the Canterbury Earthquakes. The site is currently part of a new hotel development.
- 1982: Mid-City Theatre Opens with a seated capacity of 408.
- 1996: Theatre renamed the Alska, with a reduced seated capacity of 317.
- 1998: Nick Paris takes over the venue, renaming it the Lumiere and refurbishing the interior in a quirky style. Live music performances become a part of the new venue.
- 2000: The Lumiere closes down and is replaced by an English language school.
- 2011: Damaged and eventually demolished after the Canterbury Earthquakes.
- Canterbury Film Society listing for the Mid-City / Lumiere Theatre