The history of cinema in Howick spans over 80 years. According to Alan La Roche, Howick’s distinguished historian the first cinema was established in 1929 called then La Scala Theatre, renamed as The Monterey in December 1930.
The following years tell the unimaginable story just as in a perfect film: success, bankruptcy, revival, three pence a bag boiled lollies and jaffas rolling noisily down the wooden steps , dancing after the flicks till late at night, theatrical and musical performances and all this under one roof.
The biggest it ever got was 354 seats after being purchased by Kerridge Odeon and Amalgamated in 1983. However, it was slowly declining due to other cinemas opening closer to Queen Street in the City and the cinema hadn’t had any time and money spent on its upkeep.
The original Monterey finally closed down in 1993 which was a huge disappointment for the local patrons and the iconic building was damaged by fire in 1998.
Nearly 20 years later the Monterey is getting a makeover with new owners, a new cinema location and an upmarket offering right in the heart of Howick.