HIGH STREET through to GRIGSON STREET, WAIMATE, SOUTH CANTERBURY.
Quinn’s Arcade is a three-bay two-storey brick-built arcade structure dating to 1906. It was originally built as a shopping arcade – one of the first in New Zealand - by William Quinn, using bricks supplied by his own brickworks at Makikihi. The arcade was converted to use as a picture theatre in 1918, with the addition of an elegant stucco-work interior and screened the first talkies to be seen in Waimate in 1930. It was destroyed by fire in 1955 and has since been used for a variety of commercial and storage purposes.
PRO-JECT WAIMATE acquired the building in August 2007 with the aim of restoring it once again to a central amenity within the community.
Pro-Ject Waimate is an incorporated society set up in 1994, under the Mainstreet Programme with an original aim to "realise the value of Waimate's existing resources and to facilitate the development, progress and employment opportunities in the future". Pro-Ject Waimate is funded through subscription and now concentrates wholey on the restoration of Quinn's Arcade.
A great deal has been going on 'behind the scences'. A comprehensive Conservation Plan has been produced by celebrated Heritage Architect Jackie Gillies of Dunedin and a complete Engineering Report by Consulting Engineers Hadley & Robinson also of Dunedin. Planning for earthquake compliant restoration is not only achievable, but well in hand.
Pro-Ject Waimate consider's that a Restored and Refurbished Quinn's Arcade building would make an Ideal 21st Centurary Library and Cultural Centre for the Waimate District. With the success of the newly opened Sports Stadium, a complimentary State of the Art Library and Cultural Facility would provide the people of the Waimate District with complete and balanced Recreational and Informational needs.