Globe Continuous Pictures

The Globe Continuous Pictures was an early Christchurch cinema which opened on High Street in 1912.

On 20 May 1912 Hayward’s Picture Company opened a continuous picture theatre in a converted confectionary shop situated beneath Freeman’s Café on High Street. The verandah of the building was decorated with a model globe while doors with stained glass windows allowed for entry into a foyer which was filled with ‘lurid’ posters.

The films were projected onto the back wall of a room which was painted white. By only allowing seating for an audience of 329, the theatre was not obliged to adhere to the city council’s fire safety bylaw regulations for halls. Initially the films shown screened from midday until 10:30pm.

Despite being open for only a month, by June it was recognised that the theatre was not doing as well as its proprietors had anticipated. There was concern that the competition offered by the Queen’s Theatre on nearby Hereford Street, which was to open in October, would also draw away customers. However, by August the proprietors had managed to make an improvement in their financial situation. At this time there was mention that a dress circle might be erected to allow for a larger audience. Another method taken to attract patrons was the hiring of an announcer in November 1912. Part of his role required him to dress as a duck.

In January 1913, Harold McNelly from the People’s Pictures in Wellington was hired as the manager. Upon being appointed, he was told that he could lease out the boxes in front of the theatre, on the condition that he did not enter into a contractual agreement with the tenants. Despite not having the authority to do so, McNelly proceeded to allow the land and estate agents, Pavitt and Preece, to occupy the box on a long term agreement. When Pavitt and Preece was told to give up their occupation in December, the matter went to court. A hearing was held in February 1914.

The theatre closed in 1917 and became the tea rooms and ice cream salon, Rendezvous.