Newspaper Article 1989 – Heyday of picture theatres

Scenes from the past

Heyday of picture theatres

Although the days of the picture palaces are past, in their heyday they were the most popular entertainment centres in New Zealand cities.

In small communities town halls doubled as picture theatres – seasons of several weeks were common and reservations to see a picture were the order of the day.

Hastings, in the ’20s, boasted the Cosy picture theatre on the corner of Heretaunga St and King St, opposite the Assembly Hall.

In February, 1931, the earthquake reduced it to rubble and before its rebuilding a temporary theatre went up within four months in Heretaunga St, opposite the Assembly Hall.

Pictures were shown in the Arcadia until three new theatres were built, the Regent, the State and the new Cosy.

The Cosy was built on the original site – today it is the Embassy Court.

Photo captions –

Hastings’ Cosy picture theatre before the earthquake.
All that was the Cosy after February 3, 1931.
Hastings temporary picture theatre opposite the Assembly Hall in Heretaunga St, which was used for about two years.
The new Cosy, now Embassy Court, built within four years of the earthquake.

Photos supplied by Mr John Murtagh, Hastings.

Original digital file


Business / Organisation

Cosy Theatre



Date published

26 July 1989

Format of the original

Newspaper article

Creator / Author

  • John Murtagh


The Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today

Accession number


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