Good Reasons for Relocation

Brenda Harwood, The Star

22 August 2021

A change is as good as a rest, they say — and after 40 years of collecting, sorting and selling books and all manner of donated items to raise funds for Dunedin’s premiere theatre, the Regent Theatre book sale team reckoned they deserved one or the other.

Covid-19 stymied both of last year’s planned fundraising sales for the theatre, as it did so many events in the city’s calendar.

Book sale organiser Alison Cunningham said the decision to hold a smaller Christmas sale last year proved very popular with supporters.

‘‘The success of that sale got the team thinking that the interruption in the beloved annual event offered an opportunity to reconsider, well, everything,’’ she said.

Once they got thinking, it became clear there were good reasons to change both the venue and the timing of the sale.

‘‘By choosing to relocate to the MoreFM Stadium at the Edgar Centre, we will have over three times more selling space than we have in the theatre,’’ Ms Cunningham said.

‘‘This means we can combine our two sales – the Book Sale and the Anything But Books sale – plus have room for much more stock to be on show at once.’’

The new venue would be accessible for all with room to move – something that was often a challenge at busy times in the theatre – and plenty of on-site parking.

Moving the book sale also meant the Regent Theatre would be able to hold shows for an extra four weekends each year.

Ms Cunningham hoped that holding the sale at the start of December over two full days – Friday and Saturday, December 3 and 4, from 10am to 10pm – would allow everyone in Dunedin to find a time they could come along between work, school and sports.

‘‘It also means our lovely volunteers can go home and get some sleep between sessions.’’

Holding the sale in December would allow people to hunt down good value Christmas gifts as well as to stock up on books, music and games for the summer holidays.

Profits from the book sale had enabled the Regent Theatre to make significant purchases, such as the recent $100,000 waterfall curtain, a custom made replacement for the decades-old curtains.

It also allowed the theatre to keep its historically significant interior at its glamorous best.

​Brenda Harwood, The Star 22 August 2021

Photograph supplied by Regent Theatre

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