Some of you might know that I am a sort-of musician, and because of this, lots of people from around the country and the world have been getting in touch with me to ask how particular venues are coping. The problem is that information is very changeable, and is often revised after each aftershock. Of which there have been many. There are a number of rumours out there about all sorts of thing at the moment, and some of this post may just be covering those rumours. The truth may be out there … but it’s a moving target. The final arbiter will be the owners of each building – who I haven’t talked to myself.
The Repertory Theatre on Kilmore St has been one of the most high profile casualties. Much of the facade has fallen onto the street, which is a great shame. There had been much of an effort in the last few years to raise funds for earthquake strengthening for the building – which sadly hadn’t started. Anna Crighton from the Historic Places Trust was on Close Up last night, suggesting that it could be rebuilt, but given the degree of the damage, I’d say it’s highly unlikely.
The Dux was open on Saturday afternoon, which would suggest that they didn’t suffer much. Though whether it was necessary to open such an ‘essential’ service as a pub in a part of town that is next to so many important buildings – such as the quake HQ at the art gallery – is an open question. There are a number of venues or former venues that I don’t have any information about at this time: The Media Club, The Civic, AL’s Bar. The Media Club has been looking a bit shabby for some time, and that may mean that it wasn’t in the best shape for an earthquake. The Civic and AL’s are both brick buildings, and you’ve gotta wonder – although I went past AL’s, and didn’t see any obvious damage.
UPDATE: My friend Hera just received a message from Al Park of AL’s bar:
“Hi Hera.Yep we all good.No damage.Very lucky!”
So that’s good news.
Goodbye Blue Monday have been updating their blog with frequency and detail since the quake, and say that they are fine. That’s great, but while they are hoping to open on Friday, I will believe it if I see it. There is extensive damage to the building next to them – the old High Street Project – and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was either too damaged to be saved, or if the extent of the damage meant that it and the surrounding buildings were going to be cordoned off for sometime. I’m not trying to be overly negative – but the uncertainty with Manchester Courts has led to other buildings on the same block being closed off. So fingers crossed for GBM and that area – and keep an eye on their blog.
The Bedford seems to have lost quite a few bricks, but according to this update that I dug up from facebook:
“The Bedford’s sweet. Fully earthquake strengthened. We’ve just lost a few decorative bricks from the top”
The White Elephant Trust HQ is on the corner of Bedford Row and Manchester St, and I can see it out my kitchen window. They are a great organisation that are involved with young people and music, and were meant to be having an all-ages show with Tommy Ill this Saturday (which I was meant to be supporting them at.) I’m not really sure where that is at, at the moment, but given the crack in the building … it might not be good (see below)…
I’m trying to find out info about Chch / New Zealand’s best record store, Galaxy Records, but don’t have anything right now. The buildings directly opposite Galaxy are some of the worst hit in Christchurch – fortunately, Smiths had recently moved down the road a bit. Peaches and Cream has lost a few letters from the shop name – it’s now aches and Cream, which could prove to be more useful! And there have to be massive worries about the old Odeon Theatre, which was in dire need of some earthquake strengthening.
I would be a little concerned for Christchurch’s second best music store, Penny Lane Records, which is in the historic (read: run down brick) part of Sydenham. Colombo St, from Brougham to Moorehouse Ave, is very badly damaged, as most of the buildings were single or double story and brick. It hasn’t been the most popular area of town for a couple of decades, so not much money has gone into keeping these buildings up to date. The building in the picture below is the one with Penny Lane, though it is about four shops to the left of the corner. I would fear for it though, as the whole building will probably have to go.
Just as I am writing this, I’ve seen an update on twitter regarding the Dux:
“Dux de Lux is currently not safe to enter and closed until further notice, no word on whether it’s been condemned though”
Maybe opening on Saturday wasn’t the smartest thing to do?
Will update as more info comes to hand – and will probably try and do a post on the Lyttelton situation too.