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March 6, 2013 | by  | in Arts Film | [ssba]


“if you’re playing the movie on a telephone, you will never, in a trillion years, have experienced the film.”

Many of you will be thinking that these are the words of a crotchety luddite, but the renowned David Lynch may have a point. The prevalence of torrenting and iTunes has certainly allowed us access to a greater range of films, but it has also deprived audiences of the unique experience that only comes from watching movies on the big screen. to help you become a true film aficionado we’ve prepared a little guide to the cinematic scene in Wellington. With the film team’s help you’ll soon be ruining conversations with such pretentious twaddle as: “Only barbarians fail to appreciate the multi-faceted narrative of eraserhead”, and “stop watching films on your fucking phone!”


Where to go

FILM ARCHIVE 84 Taranaki St

This treasure trove is an essential stop on your journey to cinematic enlightenment. Cobbled together from an array of sources, the archive has a film to suit every taste, even if many of them are relatively unknown. Tickets are reasonably priced and there’s an adorable café next door with which to sate your appetite. You’ll never have to bother with ‘social interactions’ ever again!


Remember those unpleasant childhood memories of your local movie theatre? Bland popcorn, the cackling youngsters with laser lights, floors that seem to be lined with chewing gum. Readings gives you all this and more! Avoid unless you have a desire to plumb the depths of indecency.

PARAMOUNT 25 Courtenay Pl

To many cinephiles the Paramount is Wellington’s premiere theatre.  It’s true that the range of films is impressive, with an excellent
mix of arthouse and foreign films. However, the complex is housed in a somewhat dilapidated building with poor soundproofing and agonising ‘sliding’ seats. Thankfully, renovations are improving the situation and if you find yourself in one of the couch-equipped theatres, or towards the front of the main theatre, then you will have a tremendous time. An integral, if slightly antiquated part of the local arts scene.

PENTHOUSE 205 Ohiro Rd, Brooklyn

An exquisite venue, with a fantastic restaurant and a great range of films. Apart from the normal releases, it also plays host to a number of exclusives that are well worth your time. Unfortunately, it does require a treacherous trek out to the wasteland of Brooklyn, but urbanity requires a few sacrifices.

EMBASSY 10 Kent Terrace

Not long ago I regarded the Embassy as a purveyor of mere blockbusters, complete with generic food and steep prices. A year later
and my views have been proven to be haughty nonsense. With a broader array of films, lavish ‘Deluxe’ theatres, technological upgrades and an adorable downstairs bar, the Embassy experience now lives up to the promise of its ostentatiously colossal screen.


A relatively recent addition to the pantheon of Wellington cinemas but a classy little gem nonetheless. Featuring adorable theatres, an
excellent range of films, and an assortment of delicious snacks, the light house is the ideal place to see the latest hipster obsession. You’ll instantly feel superior to the plebs who scurry in and out of Readings.


Gerald Lee


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