The Screening Room Cinema and Eatery in Kuripuni opens to the public on Thursday. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Picture start. Five, four, three, two, one.
The countdown is on for the opening of The Screening Room Cinema and Eatery, where films, fine beverages and food by an award-winning chef will be available under one roof.
The purpose-built complex in Kuripuni, Masterton, will open to the public on Thursday, with owners Travis and Eve Clive-Griffin entering a new era of their lives.
The couple are well-known in Wairarapa for their successful Greytown restaurant, Salute, which they ran for 16 years.
Developer Dave Borman, who was behind the Queen St project, brought Mr Clive-Griffin on board as the kitchen design consultant.
It was during construction that the Clive-Griffins decided to take on the challenge and branch out from hospitality and into entertainment.
The Screening Room Cinema and Eatery would fill a gap in the market in both industries, they said.
Mr Clive-Griffin said the new venture was part of a movement that gave people “a fuller experience”.
The movie industry had been challenged over the years, with the invention of television, VHS, DVD, and now Netflix.
“There seems to be a strong demand from the public to create an all-round experience, and that being what we have created here,” Mrs Clive-Griffin said.
The complex houses two 60-seater cinemas, in which a total of 10 films would be screened each day.
They have been decked out with the latest sound and vision equipment and large custom-made chairs, each complete with a bottle holder and table.
“The best thing about the seats is the space — you never have to move your knees or your handbag for people moving up the isles,” Mrs Clive-Griffin said.
The couple praised Mr Borman for bringing together all the elements of the design.
“The level of research and thought he put into it is extraordinary — he’s a real ‘quality’ man.”
The acoustics and sound-proofing of the cinemas was to the point that “if World War III was going on out there, you would be oblivious until the movie finished and you walked out the door”.
No expense had been spared, the couple said.
The Eatery will seat 120 people and will have a menu that focuses on sharing plates.
The flavours would be “light and fresh” and “globally-influenced”, inspired by the couple’s travels.
Mr Clive-Griffin said he would be changing the menu regularly and keeping it seasonal.
Craft beer, coffee, and kombucha were on the drinks list.
Wairarapa would be represented with some of its best drops on the menu, which would also include wines from around the world.
Punters will be able to order any still wine by the glass, even from the most expensive bottle.
This was due to a nifty machine called a coravin, which preserved opened bottles of wine, sometimes for years, Mr Clive-Griffin said.
Even though the films screened would be diverse — from art house to indie to selected blockbusters — all would share common ground in being thought-provoking and of award-winning class.
The cinemas each had wifi connection and could be, with notice, hired out for private screenings and conferences.
There is some history behind the restaurant’s parquet floor.
It was re-laid after being relocated from The Chilton Building, where it was put down in the early 1940s by the Country Woman’s Institute.
A large outdoor verandah would catch the sunshine and smaller alcoves indoors would suit more intimate moments.
The Screening Room will be open until late seven days a week.
Doors would open at 10am on weekdays and 9.30am on weekends.