Mystery Solved? [ETA – No Question Mark Necessary]

Here we were all wondering when  this never before seen photo was taken. Guest Blogger KatharineD. has the answer.


The Great Gatsby ball at the Roxy in Wellington seemed a good bet – but how to explain beardless Richard Armitage in mid-June 2013, when pick-ups for TH were in full swing?

The only plausible answer was that the photo was taken in early 2011 before Richard grew his own beard, so I did some digging around and found out that the venue was indeed the Roxy Theatre, but the event wasn’t a charity ball, but the cinema’s grand reopening after extensive restoration work had been carried out.

There’s a lovely story behind all this. It was originally the Capitol Theatre, built in 1928 to screen silent movies. It operated as a cinema through to the early 1960’s, when it was converted into a suburban shopping mall. The mall eventually closed down, and the building sat empty for several decades. It was purchased by one of Peter Jackson’s film companies, with the aim of turning it back into a community cinema.

The restoration project was taken on by Weta Workshop founder Richard Taylor, his wife Tanya Rodger,  and Jamie Selkirk, a long time colleague of Peter’s, who was one of the editors on The Lord Of The Rings. The work was extensive, retaining the original Art Deco facade, but completely rebuilding the interior, with two cinemas, a restaurant and bar, all in 1930’s style.

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Weta Workshop contributed sculptures and artwork to the interior decoration. Here is a page of photos from the Roxy’s website- scroll down to see the restoration work in progress. The reopening event took place on 30th March 2011, not long after the start of principal photography on The Hobbit, and the theme was 1930’s style.

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I haven’t been able to find any official photos of Richard or William Kircher  at the event, but it all fits. Peter Jackson is dressed as a 1930’s super hero, Rocketeer, and might that be Richard Armitage’s hand holding the hat on the right of the photo?

Here’s the link from the NZ Dominion.    Here’s the photo:
[ETA – Confirmation – check out the floor in this photo. It matches the location of the photo with Richard and William]

15 thoughts on “Mystery Solved? [ETA – No Question Mark Necessary]

  1. Suits appropriately matches… so it could be. I was looking for other Kircher pics with that jacket, but couldn’t find any. Not to mention Ninja Richard… 😛
    Only thing that puzzled me was that back in February 11th 2011 RA had a short beard. So I did some investigative work (!). I read that PJ was hospitalized January 27th, and couldn’t attend February 11th Press Conference (bearded RA). There is a moment in dwarf boot camp when PJ shows RA a sword prototype and looks very slim and suffering. I suppose he had returned working after the “forced pause” and RA is shaven. So yes, I suppose The Roxy reopening is the event that pic was shot. And what an eye to notice a hat in the second pic! Congrats to both 😉


    • This event was only nine days after The Hobbit started shooting, and RA was definitely clean shaven for the Powhiri ceremony, so it fits. Make sure you look through the other photos of the Roxy- absolutely beautiful interiors. Weta did a fabulous job.


      • I was just thinking about RA’s beard- I think he grew it during boot camp, shaved it off just before filming began in March (he had a fake beard for first block of filming), then grew his own back during the first break, in time for the next lot of filming to start. Am I remembering correctly?


    • The hat and hand to the right in that one photo belongs to the lovely Graham McTavish who has his arm around Martin Freeman. It’s Graham’s hat/costume. 🙂 I agree this must have been pretty soon after they all arrived because none of the actors who would go on to grow beards (including William Kirtcher) have had a chance to do so yet in those photos, and they were all clean shaven at the Piori ceremony. Thanks for the research ladies!


      • Good spotting about the brooch- I missed that detail, and yes, now I take another look, it is G McT’s hand. Would love a photo of RA and GMcT together in their double-breasted suits and fedoras.


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