TAUPO visitors Eloise, Isla, Kylie and Kate Leonard are all excited about seeing the movie Cats in Opotiki. Photos Sven Carlsson OS0224-03

OPOTIKI moviegoers are benefiting from the mixture of a new approach supported by tested methods and support from volunteers.

Opotiki Community Theatre Trust chairwoman Ellie Collier said the movie theatre had been busy over the holiday season.

“We’re trying to show the most up-to-date movies,” she said.

THEATRE volunteer Jo Sutherland stocks up on frozen goods. OS0224-02

“And we’re also mixing in some art house movies. We’re showing an art house movie every Monday. It’s something a bit different from the block busters.”

Social media comments on this week’s Monday movie, The Biggest Little Farm, had been favourable.

“We had a full house on Monday,” Ms Collier said.

“The art house movies are films with a message.”

The theatre trust had received help with movie selection from Opotiki residents Debbie Hocart, Fraser Reece and Dido Eden.

“We then have Telina Hermiston, who has been doing the frontline of the Arts on Tour programme for me,” Ms Collier said.

The films Jumanji: The Next Level and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had been very popular.

“Frozen II was a big success during the holidays,” Ms Collier said.

By blending the block busters with art house movies, the theatre was reaching a wider audience.

“We have 42 seats in our movie theatre and it’s best to purchase your tickets online if it’s a popular movie, that way you can be certain to get a seat,” Ms Collier said.

DESIGNATED volunteer Christina Collier empties the next batch of popcorn into the mix. OS0224-01

“It’s best you book and purchase your tickets early.”

On Tuesday, eight-year-olds Eloise and Isla, with their mum Kylie and 12-year-old sister Kate Leonard had come all the way from Taupo to Opotiki to watch the Cats movie.

“We don’t have this flash movie theatres in Taupo,” Ms Leonard said

Theatre volunteers Jo Sutherland and Christina Collier said they had “great fun” working at the theatre even though they didn’t exactly have a choice.

“Jo’s daughter does all the purchasing and my mother is the chairwoman, so we have to work here,” Christina said.

“But we do like it and we love the atmosphere.”

sven.carlsson@thebeacon.co.nz