Monster Valley / Loading Docs

Please Open - The Crystal Palace Documentary

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A near century of fatigue is worn proudly in The Crystal Palace. The loving overuse of the cinema has left her tired, but always reverberating with an inherent sense of cool. The carbon rods that explosively connect to light the 80 year old projectors may be in finite supply but the old girls whirr on and The Crystal Palace keeps finding ways to bring in a crowd. The Jazz, The Dancing, The Orchestra, The Talkies, The Discos, The Surf Movies, The Bollywood Movies, 'The Room' - she's always been a flexible and plucky character - but has The Crystal Palace finally lost her 'cool'?

Why The Crystal Palace?

In 1928 The Crystal Palace opened its doors to Auckland to come and see it's first screening. Played with a full orchestra accompaniment and a dazzling light show that shorted the local power station, the suburban theatre instantly became a stalwart of the local community.

With every cultural shift, The Crystal Palace found a way to stay relevant; The first suburban theatre to have sound in NZ, a pumping jazz and dance hall until the 40s, reopened in the 60s as a disco, showing surf films in the 70s and 80s, and now monthly screenings of the best worst movie 'The Room'.

But now the theatre, with it's original features starting to show their age, is at risk of being forgotten and lost.

We think The Crystal Palace still has a place as a cinema, venue and important heritage building and hope that in making this short documentary, we will both reconnect people with the theatre and their personal histories there, as well as introducing it to a whole new community who may be yet to discover a forgotten treasure.

What we need...

Our team, Co-Directors Karl Sheridan and Robin Gee and Producers Taylor MacGregor and Monster Valley, need your support to help raise funds to help cover the production and post-production costs of making this film.

We hope to raise $2000 (to be matched by Loading Docs) to help us pay our awesome editor Levi Beamish to cut together the final film, to hire some swanky cameras to take some beautiful pictures and to fund the recording of a very special soundtrack that is being composed especially for our film.

We hope that your contributions to our project will encourage you to reconnect with the theatre yourself and that our film will be a new experience of The Crystal Palace.

Donate. Watch. Tell us your stories. We want as many people as we can find to be a part of this process and to let us know whether you think that The Crystal Palace still has the goods. There are still plenty of Jaffas to be rolled down the aisles and we'd like to keep those doors open as long as we can.


  • Successfully funded and front page news!


    Thank you everyone for donating and helping us reach our $2000 goal!

    We are very excited to start shooting next month and every dollar we have raised through Boosted is going a long way towards making this film and reconnecting with The Crystal Palace. We still have a few days left so keep sharing this with your mates and let them know about 'Please Open' and The Crystal Palace.


    As well as the exciting funding news, we also got our first taste of fame on the front page of the newspaper, along with a great plug on Stuff as well. Check it out:


    Stay posted on our Facebook Page and keep an eye out for some exciting announcements coming soon. Cheers!

    Successfully funded and front page news!
  • Pop In Center to open at the theatre this Tuesday 10th March


    Information and material on The Crystal Palace's history and stories of the theatre's past can be hard to find, as part of this documentary we hope to create a central resource of the history, news and stories of The Crystal Palace Theatre that everyone can explore. Over the next month we would like to offer you the chance to share your memories and stories… 
If you are willing, we would love to record some of these stories so they can be part of the theatre’s archive along with any images or material you may be willing to share. We will be opening a space at the theatre in Mt Eden as of this Tuesday (10th March) which will be opened regularly for anyone to pop in and tell us your stories. You can keep updated with opening times and news on our facebook page or at our space at the theatre on Mt Eden Road. We're looking forward to meeting you and hearing your stories.

  • 95BFM Breakfast interview with directors Karl & Robin


    Click on the link to hear the directors Karl Sheridan and Robin Gee on 95bFM to talk about 'Please Open', Loading Docs and our Boosted NZ campaign. 

    95BFM Interview

Loading Docs

Loading Docs is a unique New Zealand documentary initiative that aims to captivate and inspire audiences as well as develop and promote New Zealand filmmaking talent. Since launching in 2014 Loading Docs has touched audiences all over the world. Our films have been seen online, on TV, in film festivals... even on airplanes!

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Other Projects by Monster Valley

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Monster Valley

On August 11th, The Basement Theatre and Auckland City will be awoken from its winter slumber by The Experiment: a five night urban arts carnival of music, dance, street art, multimedia experiences, performance art, theatre, interactive installations and a changing line-up each night of artists experimenting and orchestrating brilliant creative collisions - both accidental and by design.