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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
NZ 'secures Rings première'
The Lord of the Rings premiere
Director Peter Jackson lives in Wellington

The première of the final Lord of the Rings film is expected to be held in New Zealand's capital, Wellington, despite earlier disagreements threatening to derail the event.

The film studio behind the hit films said it would move its last prestigious Rings unveiling to Los Angeles if New Zealand's biggest cinema, the Embassy, was not up to world class standards.

But at an emergency meeting on Wednesday, Wellington council agreed to give NZ$4.5m ($2.6m, £1.6m) to refurbish the Embassy.

The council had previously ditched a pledge to provide NZ$7m, instead saying they would contribute just NZ$2m.

"We have given our commitment to full refurbishment of the Embassy Theater," Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast said.

Much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in New Zealand, and director Peter Jackson lives in Wellington.

The Lord of the Rings
The third Lord of the Rings movie will be released in December

The trilogy is thought to have pumped about NZ$350m (£200m, £125m) into the country's economy.

At the première of the second film, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Jackson and film studio New Line said they would return to Wellington for the final world première.

But New Line recently said the première would go to LA if the upgrade work was not done.

"We have an expectation that the venue will be of a standard analogous to the Odeon Leicester Square in London and the Ziegfield Theater in Manhattan," New Line executive producer Mark Ordesky said.

'Romance and glamour'

The building work will reportedly include improved earthquake protection, toilets, carpets, seating, redecoration and air conditioning.

The 79-year-old cinema claims it "captures the romance and glamour of yesterday and combines it with today's technology".

Embassy trust chairman Bill Sheat said the work would begin within weeks, to be completed by early November.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is due to be released around the world on 17 December.




SEE ALSO:
Chaos surrounds Rings première
06 May 03  |  Entertainment
Rings director snubs 'bureaucrats'
19 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Kiwis take over Hollywood
28 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Security fears force Rings shift
04 Nov 02  |  Entertainment
New Zealand embraces Rings
19 Dec 01  |  Entertainment
Lord of the Rings boosts Kiwi capital
12 Jun 01  |  Entertainment


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