While the Timaru CBD generally shows a consistent Victorian and Edwardian flavour, there are pockets of difference. Turning from Sophia Street in to Canon, one is presented with a cluster of buildings offering a different tone altogether.
In harmony with the Art Deco building adjacent, the Moviemax cinema complex offers a quirky mix of Deco and Byzantine motifs. Some years ago the initial barrage of Hollywood movies brought a trend in flashy architectural styles to New Zealand, linking the exciting new age of big screen entertainment with American styling. Even a small town might have its Odeon with all the right touches.
Of course a movie theatre is the perfect candidate to receive layers of pastiche – it's all part of transporting us to another world.
Construction of the Moviemax building was rapid, with giant precast concrete panels popping up in a flash, connected to hollow core floor panels by simple steel connectors; at one stage looking like a giant house of cards.
On entering however, those raw structural elements are well concealed by the soft interiors that bring a hush to the occasion. All 6 cinemas provide a refined ambience in temperature and air quality, with the highlights being the spectacular imagery now achievable on the big screen accompanied by surround sound at quite high volume.
In an age of oversize TV sets in many family homes, the commercial movie experience must be that much more powerful in order to win you back. The Moviemax complex is a fine asset for this region to enjoy.
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