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DP70s in New Zealand

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 24.01.2008
Auckland Civic Cinema #1 (P)
  Two DP70 (817+825) from Plaza, Auckland via Cinerama theatre. Newly restored cinema built in the 20's. Reported closed 1998. Now a concert venue.

Just a little bit of an update for you. I am the technical supervisor for the Civic Cinema system. I have been a projectionist since 1987 and did 2000 shows on Hi Central carbon Arcs on Ernemann VIII machines before doing another 10000 on the
same machines with Xenons. The Civic Cinema in Auckland still has the two DP 70 projectors. No's 817 (no 1) and 825 (no 2). They are still in use for The International Film Festival, Premiers and Charity / one off screenings. The entire building was refurbished between 1997 and 1999. The cinema system was upgraded at the time with a new larger Screen, and a Dolby 500 Processor, new speakers etc. Apart from the additional sound heads for SRD, DTS the heads are as original and run beautifully. In 2000 we fitted new Strong Lamp housings and are just about to fit Reverse Scan Cyan dye readers. They still have the Mag sound heads , we nearly got to use them in 70MM a couple of years ago with a screening of a Jacque Tati Film. In the end the client couldn't justify the freight cost for only one location. We have done the NZ premiers for "The Price of Milk",  "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" and of course "The Two Towers". That was meant to be just the Auckland Premier but Wellington ran behind schedule. That would have been great in 70MM. Thanks for the good site, lot's of very useful informationn. Bryce Gibson, 07.08.2006
Auckland Civic Cinema #2 (P)
  Two DP70 (1854+1890) with Strong xenon from Plaza, Auckland. Opened 1929 Very large cinema. Reported closed 1998. Now a concert venue.
Auckland Hoyts Warehouse
  Three DP70 (866+ in store for parts
Auckland Plaza (*»)
  Four DP70 (817+825+1854+1890). The first Todd-AO theatre in New Zeeland. Opened in 1958 with "South Pacific". DP70 817 & 825 was moved to the Civic, Auckland because a shipping strike delayed the arrival of DP70 1854+1890. The Plaze got DP70 1854 & 1890 instead when they finally arrived.
Blenheim ?
  One DP70 (either 2206 or 2209) from Savoy, Christchurch
Christchurch Cinerama
Two DP70
Christchurch Ian Fisher
  One DP70 (1854+spares from 1361+1890). 1854+1890 from Hollywood Cinemas.
Christchurch Regent on Worcester
Two DP70 (1854+1890) in storage. Machines sent to the Hollywood in Sumner.
Christchurch Savoy Theatre (P)
  Two DP70 (2206+2209). DP70 from State, but not used for 70mm. Closed mid October 1993.
Christchurch State Theatre (*»)
  Two DP70 (2206+2209) installed for "South Pacific" 06.08.1959. DP70 moved to Savoy.
Christchurch Ian Fisher (private) screening room
  One DP70 (1854) + projector head from # 1890 & parts from # 1361 & 1359

A classic photo that demonstrates better than any other photo I've seen, the robustness and stability of the mighty DP70 projector. This photo was taken after the severe earthquake that hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch a few years ago. It truly is a case of a picture is worth a thousand words !!! The other projector in the photo is an Ernemman 11 projector. Photo taken in the projection room of a private home cinema.

Brian Walters, Brisbane, Australia.
Dunedin Octogan
  Two DP70 (2493+2494). Theatre rebuilt and machines removed to Hoyts store in Auckland for spares. Possibly moved to Top Town Cinema in Blenheim. Graeme Edwards bought these machines when the OCTAGON closed in 1992 and moved them to the WESTEND CINEMA Hastings where they were used for about 12 months before I built the mutliplex and closed the cinema. They were like new (having done only 2 sessions per day since installation-a few extra sessions in holiday) and I sold them to a private collector complete with 70mm lenses, soundheads etc.
Hastings Westend Cinema
Image by Dean Mardon

Two DP70 (2493+2494) from Octogan, Dunedin. Hastings where they were used for about 12 months before I built the mutliplex and closed the cinema. Sold them to a private collector complete with 70mm lenses, sound heads etc.
Napier State Theatre (P)
  Two DP70. One DP70 from the Hoyts store in 1991. This machine went to a private collector when the cinema closed for conversion into a multplex in 1994.
Napier Graeme Edwards (Private)
One DP70 which came from the Hoyts store in 1991... it's partner went to Graham Steele
Napier Graham Steele (Private)
One DP70 which came from the Hoyts store in 1991... it's partner went to Graeme Edwards. 
Napier Don Hastings (Private)
One DP70
Nelson State Theatre (P)
  Two DP70
Palmerston North State
Two DP70. Penthouse, Brooklyn (Still in use) The units in Palmerston North were second-hand from Sydney.
Sumner Hollywood Cinemas #2 (P
  Three DP70 (1559+1854+1890). 1359 is the last DP70 operating in Christchurch.

Image by David Johnson

Two DP70 (1854+1890) only in storage and never ran. #1854 purchased by Ian Fisher (Christchurch) in March 2009. #1890 has now been dismantled and Ian Fisher now have most of these parts.

Sumner Hollywood Cinemas #3
  One DP70 (1361)

Machine dismantled August 2010 and purchased by Ian Fisher (Christchurch) and Ian Fisher now have most of these parts.

Image by David Johnson
Wanganui State Theatre (P)
  Two DP70
Wellington Kings Theatre (*P)
  Two DP70 for "South Pacific" 02.12.1959.
Wellington State Theatre (*»)
  Two DP70. Named changed to Cinerama 19.08.1966 with single lens Cinerama. Demolished 1987.
More in 70mm reading:

7OMM in New Zealand

DP70 - The Todd-AO Projector
DP70 Story
DP70 Cinemas everywhere
DP70 Serial Numbers

70mm Projectors

Internet link:


Is this cinema in New Zealand?

Is this NZ?

Unusual recent combo. DP70 with Dolby Digital Reader. Unusual to see with Xenith lamphouse, Kinoton platter. There were only 7 new pairs brought into NZ (Cinerama, Plaza Akd / Cinerama & Kings Wgtn / Cinerama & Plaza ChCh / Octagon Dunedin. There was a pair at State Palmerston North when it closed but not sure if they were brought in later by Ray Bullen xHoyts Australia – they went to Penthouse. City DP70s went to Napier (2), Hastings (xOctagon), Blenheim (they had strong lumex), Sumner & collections. I think Peter McQuarters @ Ashburton has one – he definitely has the Vic X from Avon. Try Ray Bullen – looks too smart for Sumner.

If in NZ, would need to be Nelson or Palmerston North - but Ray always used acoustic tiles with holes on the walls of the bio - so not them. Bio is quite recent, especially with Digital Reader (1990s). These are first generation Cinemeccanica lamphouses – NZ had more the blue Zenith lamphouses in various sizes. I thinks Cinemas 1 & 2 had the pictured lamphouses and they went with projectors to Paramount Wgtn. Not sure if there were anymore … maybe Westend, Embassy Wgtn.

Graeme Edwards
29 March 2016
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Updated 21-01-24