foxton NZ

MAVtech ; The National Museum of Audio Visual Arts & Sciences Of NZ Trust Inc

Open every weekend 2 - 4 pm.
Entry is Free during weekend public opening times... Donations welcomed. Contact Jim Harper 027 205 7968 or alternatively email Office

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The museum holds a wide ranging collection of items and media covering over 100 years of audio visual technology and history. On display are film projectors, phonographs, radios, cameras, and much, much more. In our conservation store we hold around 100,000 records of various formats and an estimated 5 million feet of film. Staff can demonstrate various items on display and you can even try your skills on our old Pianola (player piano). We are one of very few theatres left that are capable of showing 35mm film and the only publicly accessible cinema in NZ that can show film with traditional carbon-arc projectors, (1938 model Peerless projectors).

Our theatre seats up to 200 people. On the last Friday of each month (except December) MAVtech holds a film night; all done in the traditional style! Entry is $10.00 for adults – the museum opens at 6 pm for viewing and the film show starts at 7pm. The theatre is also available for hire by groups and we offer a variety of programmes customised to suit both the interests of members, and the amount of time they have available. A typical format is a museum tour followed by some cartoons or short films (approximately a 1 hour programme) or maybe including a feature film too (a 2+ hour programme). We host many diverse groups and we have a large reserve of material to draw from. The minimum group size for a film event is around 20 …but smaller numbers can be accommodated, especially for museum-only tours. Contact the Managers to discuss your group’s preferences for a MAVtech visit experience.

Our building was constructed in 1926. A “Coronation Hall” was built (in wood) on this site in 1911 by the then Foxton Borough Council, and was used as a public hall and picture theatre. In 1926 the building was destroyed by fire and a replacement was built to similar design - in concrete - and it was renamed “the Town Hall”. By the 1970s the building theatre was little used and eventually ceased theatre operations. The building became derelict but was rescued by Peter Edwards – the founder of MAVtech - who oversaw redecoration of the interior and reinstatement of 1930s-era seating. More recently significant seismic strengthening work has been undertaken on the rear section of the building.

MAVtech is progressively reconfiguring its displays in the main auditorium and increasing the number of exhibits that work and can be experienced by visitors. We supplement our original film projection equipment with a digital projector and can screen digital media. Radio Foxton (105.4 FM) broadcasts from studios in the Hall.


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