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Historic building to get strengthening

Tonz Barber Shop [at bottom right] will be leaving the Regent 3 Cinemas building due to earthquake strengthening work. PHOTO/STEVE RENDLE

Tonz Barber Shop to move

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A longstanding barber business will have to move from its site in Masterton’s historic Regent 3 Cinemas building due to earthquake strengthening work which is soon to start, pending council consent.

The existing cinemas, cafe and bookshop in the building will remain.

After spending a year with engineers working out what strengthening the building required, owner Brent Goodwin, a Masterton district councillor, said a plan was now in place, and it would involve steel beams blocking one of the tenant companies, Tonz Barber Shop.

He said he had to give the barber shop notice to vacate, because the strengthening would be too disruptive to the business.

After the Christchurch earthquakes, Goodwin said he was compelled to get the building closer to new requirements within seven or eight years, and the design he and his engineers had come up with would get it to 90 per cent of code.

The cinema survived the Wairarapa earthquakes of 1942, and Goodwin was confident of the strength of the building now.

He described the strengthening as routine building maintenance.

“We’re just undertaking a seismic upgrade, which is an ongoing process – when I built the two new cinemas in 1996 we did a bit.”

Goodwin said it was disappointing Tonz Barber Shop had to be closed, because it had been there “forever”.

“It’s a wee bit awkward,” he said. “People don’t like being told to move out, but I’m putting a steel beam somewhere through his shop. The engineers will need the space, which will interfere with his doorway, so it’s easier to give him notice.”

Bear Flag Books and Retro would take over the space once strengthening was complete, Goodwin said.

Bear Flag owner Mark Rogers said his store would be unaffected by the strengthening.

Tonz Barber Shop owner and barber Tony Allsworth said he would continue operating in a different location, which would be confirmed in the near future.


  1. lovely that its not going to be demolished, its a lovely cinema, often go there… we must preserve our history in New Zealand.

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