Back in 2003, Peter Jackson and Jamie Selkirk got together and bought up an old Cinema here in Wellywood called Capitol Court, which is a 1920's Art Deco building. The word around town was that it would be developed into a LOTR related cinema, possibly with a Rings museum attached to it.
Fast forward to a year ago, June 2008, and the cinema had still not been used or renovated. Richard Taylor set up the Weta Cave, with its own little mini-museum. The whispers at the time were that the LOTR museum would be at the Cave instead of at Capitol Court. Everything went fairly quiet for another year or so.
From a Lord Of The Rings Museum perspective, the Weta Cave is distinctly unimpressive - a little disappointing even. The mini-museum is little more than a single small room (about the size of my small kitchen, in fact), and although it's crammed full of goodies, the LOTR stuff shares precious space with earlier Peter Jackson movies, and other Weta movies - which is, as it should be - after all, this is the Weta Museum, not the LOTR museum.
In regards to the Capitol Court building - every so often there are little news items published in the local papers about how the Miramar residents would like still the building restored to its former Art Deco glory, and how nothing seems to have been done, etc.
When the papers consult either of the owners, generally "things" are reported to be happening in the background but quotes from either Peter Jackson or Jamie Selkirk invariably state they are "in progress", "in talks", or "under discussion". And invariably, things die down again soon afterwards.
However, there appears to be some recent movement at the cinema itself, and I've also heard from a number of sources living in the area that there may well be some light on the horizon. I understand that in the next few weeks I may have some more definite news, but apparently the go-ahead on the redevelopment of the cinema has been given.
Of course, this does not (yet) mean that we're getting a "proper" LOTR museum - but if things are moving in that direction, perhaps we will at least get a proper little venue to watch The Hobbit on, in time for release date! Only time will tell.
Watch this space. Again.