Reading Cinemas shutdown not related to Kaikōura earthquake damage

12:06 pm on 11 January 2019

Reading Cinemas has no idea when its central Wellington complex may reopen again as engineers are brought in for a thorough examination.

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Photo: Tony Hisgett [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The entire Courtenay Place complex was shut down on Saturday, after a draft engineering report identified several areas on the cinema levels of the building that could be dangerous during a major earthquake.

The company briefed Wellington City Council on the report this week.

Council business engagement manager Phil Becker told Summer Report the risky parts were not a result of damage from the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake.

"We've been advised that there is no damage," he said.

He said the council had no details on what the problems were.

"I think it's speculation at this point to say that it is unsafe.

"The reality is the engineers are there to do a job to understand what the actual areas of concern are. At one end of the spectrum it might actually turn out that the building's fine so again it's very much speculation at this stage until they do what they have to do.

"It's very much speculation and Reading themselves have confirmed that they don't know yet either."

Phil Becker said the cinema operator is not sure when the complex will open again, and there was no cause at this point for the council to question what they'd heard.

He said in his experience dealing with Reading Cinemas, they had always put the safety of the users of the building at the forefront since the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake.

"They've been very active to shut off the space until last year when it's safe to go back into."

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