Royal Friends Newsletter April 2014

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Progress, Progress, Progress at the ITR!


In this newsletter issue:

Stalls Foyer and Staircase March 2014
Stalls Foyer and Staircase March 2014. View larger image

It is hard to believe Easter is nearly here… Seems just a few weeks ago I was telling you about the roof going on and key milestones ahead. Now as we are all about to peel the wrappers off our chocolate eggs I must say that time over the past three years has flown, some times more than others.. but it now really seems like we are on the final lap. Some major new milestones have been achieved in the past 2 months – our now world-famous ITR ceiling dome has been cleaned, restored (by the amazing Carolina Izzo & her team) and lifted back into its original position in the roof of the auditorium. It is still wrapped of course to keep the restoration work pristine but a sneak pic of the beauty of some parts of the restored original 1908 canvas painting is to be seen – these original artworks have been subjected to 100 years of dust, nicotine and grime… now restored to their original form for the first time in a century. Be prepared for a grand unveiling before the ITR eventually reopens later this year.

The things that have happened with the ITR rebuild over the past 2-3 months have at times left me speechless, it has been a long road.., so for this newsletter I’m going to let the pictures of the last few months tell the story. These are just teasers, so click through and see the full pictures and lots more on the ITR website. Oh, and if you haven’t found us on Facebook yet there’s a quickly growing bunch of Friends to join.

Our World Famous dome is home

The Dome is back in its rightful place! This is a massive milestone for the team and a turning point for the project! The last year of construction has given the theatre a backbone and has provided a fantastic show of giant cranes, tricky piling, sprayed concrete and chunky steel, but now we move away from the severity of pure construction and into the finesse and grace period, as we now start to dress our Grand Old Lady.

Owen Dippie & Oi You! make our back wall come alive

Massive thanks go out to a massive artist for a massive effort on a massive image as the closing piece of art at the end of the end of a massive RISE! Festival. Our back wall street art will be seen for years to come we hope. Take a walk to the top of New Regent Street onto Armagh Street and turn left. The ITR’s 25 metre high Ballerina will curtsey in front of your eyes! See the full size pics… and THE FINISHED ITEM.

 Back Wall painting

Our Façade

Behind the green netting on Gloucester Street the Façade’s original bare-brick colours have been revealed for the first time since the early 1920’s. Six coats of paint from the years that followed have now been stripped back to reveal the pure red oxide colours of one of the few heritage façades still standing in the Christchurch CBD. We still have a few challenges ahead with the Oamaru stone as a lot of it has been very weather-worn over the years, but this is a sneak-peak behind the netting – a vision of over 100 years ago.

Facade Restoration

Our Massive thanks to NZ Lottery

A significant chunk of our rebuild shortfall was realised last month and announced on the Beehive’s official website with a $6 million grant from NZ Lottery Significant Projects Fund towards the ITR’s rebuild. There were a few emotional moments when we heard the news.

The entire team at the ITR are eternally grateful to everyone who has helped to date to achieve our mammoth task of rebuilding what will eventually be the Grandest of Old Ladies in Christchurch. It has been a long three years to date but I look forward to seeing you all at the NEW Isaac Theatre Royal later this year.

Have a happy family time this Easter!

Neil Cox – Chief Executive ITR

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