Summer Season at the Silo Cinema

– By Paula Booker (NZFA Programmes Developer, Auckland)

The final outdoor Summer screening for the season at Silo Cinema, in Wynyard Quarter on Auckland’s waterfront, was projected the last Friday of March. The Film Archive joined forces with The New Zealand Historic Places Trust to provide a unique opportunity for Aucklanders to step back in time with a special viewing of an archival mid-century documentary Pacific Magazine 23: Report on Auckland (1956) as part of the free event focusing on urban design.

The report-style short made in 1956 provides an intriguing snapshot of how Aucklanders lived at the time. Highlights include development of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, mid-century architecture, slum clearances in Freeman’s Bay, urban drift, motorway design and the specific development pressures of the 1950s. The content was reflected in many of the talks given afterwards.

The silo’s waterfront location had a lot of relevance to the flickering images too, with the Harbour Bridge visible directly behind the silo and Freeman’s Bay adjacent. There were about 2,000 people in attendance on one of the last fine nights before the end of daylight savings and the screening was enjoyed by cuddling couples and sprawling teens – and I think I was sitting near a gaggle of Green Party Members who had an opinion on most of the outdated civic planning ideas depicted in Report on Auckland. The boos, cheers and applause were the kind of audience participation that brings this archival material to life, and makes it a useful discussion and educational entry point.

The Saving Frames digital print of Pacific Magazine 23: Report on Auckland looked really great and it was projected about 7 metres across. The Silo Cinema use the company Spyglass to do their massive outdoor projection onto the 35 metre tall former Golden Bay Cement Silo.

Image: Bas van Est, van Est Photography.
Image: Bas van Est, van Est Photography.


The details of the  brief Pecha Kucha talks about Auckland planning:

Dr. Stephen Rainbow, General Manager Strategy, Waterfront Auckland: “Great design, sustainability and commercial development”

James Samuel, Food Forest NZ: “Urban food: creative and fun”

Bevan Woodward, Project Director, Sky Path: “The Sky Path and the plan to transform Auckland into a cycle-friendly, walkable city”

Alastair Jamieson, Ecologist and photographer: “The volcanoes in our backyard”

Julie Anne Genter, Transport planner and Green MP: “Improving the user-friendliness of Auckland”


Image: Bas van Est, van Est Photography.
Image: Bas van Est, van Est Photography.


Check out the Harbour Bridge to the right behind the silo, and the the Sky Tower behind the projection stand.

The Auckland Office is looking forward to further developing this partnership with Waterfront Auckland, watch this space!





Image: Bas van Est, van Est Photography.
Image: Bas van Est, van Est Photography.

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