Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

04 April 2011

New Zealand Odyssey: Cinema, Eltham, Taranaki.

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings.

O Glory! Corrugated iron on the grand scale! 

The front of this cinema is the bit on the left, in black and white. It was the rest that excited me; I don't think I've seen a better example of iron construction in all my New Zealand travels. And the colour was out of this world.

Eltham is on the inland road that connects Inglewood to Hawera, via Stratford, to the east of Mt. Taranaki/Egmont. When I did this drawing in 1987 the whole village seemed to be in a time-warp that suggested the 1930s: Bogart, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, George Sanders, Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet...

I expect Eltham's more prosperous looking now, being in dairy farming country, and I doubt if this building still exists (although it should; it's a classic).


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By Don Donovan