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ANZAC Theatre

Dargaville, New Zealand

In country towns like Dargaville, the 1980s were a tough time, and one of the things Dargaville lost was the old local cinema, The Empire Theatre.

Twenty-five years later, fed up with having to drive to Whangarei or Auckland to see a movie, some members of the community took matters into their own hands. In 2009 a trust was set up to bring cinema back to Dargaville and to promote the visual arts in the Northern Wairoa. A disused kumara storage shed was converted into a rough and ready cinema, furnished with old school-hall benches, a home theatre system, and a household freezer for ice creams. “It was basic, but it was ours, and for four years ‘The Kumara Box’, as it was known, fitted the bill".

Meanwhile, volunteers researched cinema operation, learned about the local audience, raised $450,000 over four years, and eventually built the ANZAC Theatre as it is today. The 62-seat theatre opened in July 2013, thanks to enormous community support and generosity. It sported a digital 2K projector, 5.1 Dolby, luxury seating, climate control, and, of course, choc-top ice creams, popcorn and Jaffas! All the bells and whistles.

“Running such a small theatre, we needed to watch every dollar. On top of that, none of us really had any experience. Right about then, we discovered Veezi, cinema software perfect for small operations like us. Being 'cloud' based, we didn’t need an expensive server, and better still, we only had to pay for what we used. Over the years, Veezi has grown with us, providing many new cost-saving add-ons to the package.

"It's simple and intuitive to use and is run by a great bunch of people! Our town put in the time, and Veezi runs our theatre and keeps our finances tight … just the ticket!”

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