Wednesday, 21 August 2013

When Hunter S Thompson Came Downunder

Recently I rediscovered a favourite book from my late teens and early 20s. JJ McRoach's " A Dozen Dopey Yarns- Tales from the Pot Prohibition" A collection of articles written with a great sense of fun and knowledge of what the author was getting into. This was  good journalism about counter culture topics.
He could also report on  the more serious side of the times with a clear and well researched view.  JJ McRoach was the pseudonym of Peter Olszewski who ran for the senate in the 1977 election as a candidate for the Marijuana Party. Though the party never had a candidate elected to office, it still managed ( thanks to McRoach) to draw a substantial amount of votes from its major political rivals. The one article I want to share here is the time McRoach acted as Hunter S Thompson's publicist for his Australian spoken word tour , who at the time was at his peak of craziness and popularity due to the release of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas several years earlier. This link and the larger one below will take you to an authorised copy of the story and below are some clippings relating to the visit and the story.


Because blogger is dumb, to read the clippings, right click and open in a new window to view better.
The Age October 1 1976

October 5 1976

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Peter Jackson's Roxy Cinema Miramar New Zealand


Wellington New Zealand is a lovely city, windy, but lovely. It is also the home of Peter Jackson and just about everything to do with his production companies. Stone Street studios,Park Road Production facility, Weta Digital and Workshops, etc , etc.
To walk around the suburb of Mirramar and casually stroll passed these places is a wonderful experience.
You of course can't visit any of these places with the exception of a peek through the front gates of the studio and of course the wonderful Weta Cave, a must for all Jackson and Lord of the Rings Fans. One treasure that often gets overlooked and possibly ignored is the Roxy Cinema situated between the Weta Cave and Stone Street in a small group of local shops.
The Roxy was originally the Capital theatre and was built in 1928, it operated until 1964 until is was converted to a shopping mall and then was left derelict for years until Lord of the Rings Editor Jamie Selkirk oversaw the restoratiom into an art deco masterpiece. With the full weight and support of the Weta Workshop behind him it has been transformed in a 1930 style cinema with the latest in movie going technology.
Selkirk says. The team researched using books and the internet, and Selkirk bought many of the cinema’s art deco lights when browsing in antique shops overseas. He “searched high and low” for interesting lights to suit the period. Three lights in the café came from a 1930s diner in Chicago; the sidelights took four weeks to make in China. Other cinemas in the US (Los Angeles, New York, Santa Barbara) provided inspiration, as did cinemas in movies such as King Kong and Inglourious Basterds, which gave the dusky, pinky-brown colour for the café walls.

I was there in early 2012 and enjoyed a lovely cuppa and was left to wander around unmolested by the happy staff and explore the upper floor and the majestic Grand Lounge

The Roxy Before...

The Roxy Now...

The Coco Lounge, where they make a lovely chai
Tea with TinTin

Gollum tucked in the corner
Antique Camera
A section of the Grand Lounge and its Art Deco beauty
The Grand Lounge Bar

Artworks abound
The ceiling painted by steampunk maniac Greg Broadmore