'They have to like films' - Retiring Christchurch cinema legend seeks successor for theatre

Every morning, seven days a week, Christchurch's Lang Masters trudges a solid steel sign out onto the streetside.

At the top, a stark red “Hollywood Cinemas” sign, with a reminder it’s air conditioned, and when the first film of the day opens.

That sign, on Marriner Street in the heart of Sumner, may not be seen again if no one wants to take the iconic cinema over from Masters.

“I could still keep going I suppose, but there’s a time when you’ve got to think, we better settle down and enjoy yourself.”

For Masters, that time’s come at age 90, after a career of cinematic proportions that spans six decades.

“I get a holiday every now and then,” he jokes, knowing very well his seven day working schedule leaves little time for anything else.

“I enjoy it, though.”

At the height of their cinematic empire, Masters and his late wife Maureen owned at least six cinemas across Christchurch.

Cinema is so embedded in his lifestyle, Masters says he’ll likely offer his services to his successor.

“You know a bit about the films. You know what to book in.

“Gotta have something to do at my age.”

Masters doesn’t want to see the cinema bulldozed, or changed. Besides that, he has only one condition for picking his successor.

“They have to like films.”


More Stories