Hastings is getting its cinema back.
It may not be a big deal elsewhere, but for our, at times, much maligned city centre this is fantastic news.
As we are reporting on our front page today, the cinema complex in Heretaunga Street is reopening.
A lot of effort has gone into the upgrading of Heretaunga Street and it is finally paying off.
People like Sandra Hazelhurst and the industrious team from Hastings City Business have worked hard to change the image of the eastern part of the CBD.
We like to think that even Hawke's Bay Today has played, and will continue to play, a role in changing the perception of Hastings CBD. We will continue to write stories about the changes, but we can also take some responsibility for one of the improvements. Next year, Hawke's Bay Today will move from its current location in Karamu Road to the old Power Board building in Heretaunga Street.
I have seen the plans for our new offices and they are very good. Work has already begun to turn the drab Power Board building into an attractive, modern-looking building. This can only enhance the street.
But today's big news is the cinema. I must admit that when I first moved here I was rather surprised to learn that the city of Hastings did not have a cinema complex. Now, I know that, technically, Havelock North is part of Hastings and it does have a cinema, but I was expecting something in town.
Those people who like to make negative comments about Hastings also used this as a key argument about how Hastings CBD did not have anything to offer.
Well, all that has changed. Great things are happening in Heretaunga Street. One of my favourite little cafes, Taste Cornucopia, which has been shut while its kitchen is upgraded, is reopening on Monday and I am sure they will benefit from having the cinema back in business again. They are going to be open for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays - perfect for those who want to catch dinner and a movie.
Just like in a normal city.
With summer almost upon us, Hastings CBD is suddenly looking like a very good place to spend some time in.
The new Farmers store and other shops provide plenty of retail therapy while there are plenty of places to get a bite to eat.
The most pleasing thing about all the changes is that they are a result of the Hastings District Council and other interest groups listening to the criticism and doing something about it.
Next step - sorting out the Albert Hotel.