The Regent in Te Awamutu: 3, 2, 1… Action!


Walking through the double doors of The Regent in the small town of Te Awamutu is similar to walking through the turnstiles at Disneyland: there is a certain magic that awaits guests behind a simple facade. With its classic carpet, polished signs, and spotless atmosphere I immediately realised the importance of this cinema at first visit. The website, describes The Regent as “a tribute to the past, present, and future of international film-making.” I couldn’t agree more.

Allan Webb is the proprietor and manager of this lovely theatre and I had the pleasure of meeting with him and his dedicated team for the occasional cuppa coffee and a catch up chat. One would picture the lobby of a cinema to be eerily quiet at 9am, yet the theatre always seems to be bustling with activity every morning I visit. A technician updating the projector in Booth 5, a team hanging new waterfall curtains in Theatre 3, someone tallying up ticket sales in the office, while others are restocking the snack bar; Allan always ensures that the theatre is spotless and fully functional for its guests later that day. Allan is not only a businessman, but a cinema historian, as well. Ask him any movie related question and he will give you an impressive answer; he is truly remarkable. Theatrical presentation is looked after and nurtured by this classic cinematic showman. 

While in New Zealand, my Fulbright project allows me to visit independent cinemas and propose free videos that movie theatres could utilise and benefit from. While watching a feature film at The Regent, I noticed that the theatre could use an updated opening title video (or header) between the preview clips and the feature presentation. The header that they had been using had a fun jingle; however, it seemed like just another big chain video intro. It was the only aspect of The Regent that did not seem local and classic.  The next day I asked Allan if I could custom build a new video for his audience; he accepted. I sat down late one night on my porch and doodled away on a piece of scrap paper. I began instructing myself to construct a quick storyboard that hoped to visually fuse a classic Hollywood tone with the rich local history of this theatre that had been entertaining the residents of Te Awamutu for decades. After three straight days of editing in my booth at the University of Waikato, I had my first draft. Three short revised drafts later, it was complete and approved by Allan. The following week we watched the 30 second clip on the big screen through the  lens of the cinema projector.


The finished clip below is currently being utilised at The Regent. In all five screening rooms in the regent the lights will fade after the previews and my thirty second header will be seen by every theatre patron before every feature film. Take a look at the video below or visit The Regent in Te Awamutu to see it first hand!


 I would like to thank Allan and his team in Te Awamutu for trusting me with this project and for their warm hospitality, as well. I am glad that I could be of service to this small town cinema and I am sure that I will continue to join them for a cuppa coffee and chat about the movies in the remaining months I have in New Zealand. The Regent is the first of many theatres I will be collaborating with throughout my Fulbright project.


Thank You for your time and effort in producing your intro. It is extremely good and you should be proud of it. We will be proud to show it.

Thank you, nick. All the best for your future work.” – Allan Webb


One response to “The Regent in Te Awamutu: 3, 2, 1… Action!”

  1. […] certainly the film expert in Hamilton. He and his partner Janine even got married in a cinema, the Regent in Te Awamutu.  Just watching Richard talk with his customers, it is evident how much of a passion Richard has […]

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