Good news!

TAKING BACK THE HEART: Sam Crofskey, of C1 Espresso, and Jeremy Jon Stewart, of Alice in Videoland, will be teaming up in the undamaged Alice building.

Christchurch Earthquake 2011 Through the looking glass for a flat white

Alice in Videoland will reopen by the end of next month and will share its High St premises with C1 Coffee.

The cafe’s former premises across the road from Alice were badly damaged in the February earthquake and are being demolished.

Alice will move into new space at the back of its undamaged building, while C1 Coffee will refurbish the ground-floor space formerly taken by the video store and reopen in March.

C1 co-owner Sam Crofskey said: “When we first set up on High St there was nothing else around, so we have done this before.

“It was empty shops and offices, so we have turned back the clock 15 years, but this time we have well-established brands.

“We will be one of the first new, permanent businesses setting up in the central city. This is not us waiting and seeing what will happen, but it is us putting a line in the sand and saying this is what we are doing.

“Our challenge is we are in the city centre, but it is not in the heart of anything. That is our challenge – to create a vibrant place where people want to be.

“There is a real opportunity for us to really get it right this time and give the people of Christchurch something really special.”

Alice’s spokesman Paul Stewart said a 42-seat arthouse cinema would be built in the new premises and open in March or April as a further drawcard for the city centre.

“We want to be able to blow you away. We could be the only arthouse screen in town,” he said.

“There were festival films that were great but didn’t get much of a showing here. They would be perfect for our little theatre.” The Alice building was behind the cordon, which is scheduled to be raised at the end of next month.

Crofskey said the premises would be restored, revealing historic ceilings and floors in the former government building.

* The Press apolgises for an earlier typo in the number of seats the arthouse cinema will have. Owing to proximity of the 0 and – keys, it accidentally read “420-seat arthouse cinema”, when in fact it will be a 42-seat theatre. Sorry about that.

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