After 32 years, Rainbow’s End is saying a fond farewell to the Cinema 180 that was housed in the iconic red dome at the Auckland theme park.
The last surviving cinema of its kind in the world, Cinema 180 opened in 1983 and was specifically built to cater for the unique 180 film system which allowed movies to be screened using a bug eye lens that projected movies onto the dome shaped screen. This coupled with Motion Master technology, meant that visitors to the Cinema 180 were given an all sensory experience.
Projectionist Tom Freeman has overseen the running of the Cinema 180 for the past 22 years and reflects that in its heyday you would get 120 people in the dome. “It was fun watching people’s reactions, with so many people inside the dome you would get some start swaying and then they would all start, it wasn’t long before many fell” says Tom.
Sadly there are no films made for the cinema 180 process any more and the whole projection system has been sold to film buffs. This leaves a large empty space in the park, but fear not say Rainbow’s End staff, as plans are well underway for a new attraction. “We can’t reveal what the new attraction is just yet,” says CEO Chris Deere, “but rest assured it will be amazing and having visited similar attractions overseas I know it will be very well received here.”
Rainbow’s End is also unveiling an entirely new front gate later this year which will transform the entrance to the iconic New Zealand park. With 9 lanes, a new gift shop and kiosk the new gate will reflect the new look and feel of the Rainbow’s End brand which was introduced last year. The existing front gate has been unchanged since the park opened in December 1982.
Over the past 6 years, millions of dollars have been invested at Rainbow’s End in new rides, upgrading and developing the amenities and infrastructure. The park has seen unprecedented growth and with the latestride Stratosfear and the newly added Kidz Kingdom, an entertainment centre forchildren 8 years and under, it is set to remain a NZ favourite for many years to come.