Viewport width =
February 14, 2005 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Places to Watch Films in Wellington

Embassy: 10 Kent Terrace
Big screen. Great sound. Comfy seats. OK, so they don’t play the same slightly off-mainstream films they used to (though they do occasionally play some classics like Labyrinth), and the majority of the films they screen are not that good, but if you don’t care about that sort of thing, it’s a good place for a date and it has got some history to it. You could be sitting in the same seat Liv Tyler did or something.

Hoyts: Manners Mall (also High St, Lower Hutt and North City Plaza, Porirua, if you’re into hitting the ‘burbs)

Hoyts used to be the big player in Wellington mainstream cinema (until it was swamped by Reading). Recommended if you like your movies cheap (it is the cheapest around) or if you feel like showing some pity and/or want to avoid the crowds/slappers at Reading.

Lighthouse: 8 Miro Street, Upper Hutt & 52 Beach Street, Petone

If you can be bothered traveling out the ‘burbs (Petone and Upper Hutt with more to come), Lighthouse is quite simply the most relaxing and comfortable place to watch a film. Replacing seats with couches and loaded with a laidback atmosphere, these cinemas come very highly recommended. They play a mixture of mainstream and non-mainstream films. Even if you don’t drive, you could catch a train. Trains are cool. Plus the Hutt is the place to be.

Paramount: 25 Courtenay Place

A great place in the centre city to go see a film. Host of a number of the festivals and events ranging from the Middle East Festival to the Movie Marathon to the biggie, the International Film Festival. During the rest of the year there is a fine selection of non-mainstream films (often popular festival films). Good atmosphere and friendly staff, with a big screen.

The Penthouse: 205 Ohiro Road

If you make the effort to go up to Brooklyn, The Penthouse is well worth it. Great atmosphere and a great café too. The majority of the films are not mainstream, but often the type you’d go with your grandmother to, if you were forced to. Relaxing and chilled out atmosphere.

Reading: Courtenay Central, Courtenay Place

Salient could say whatever it likes about Reading, but people will still go and sit in those big comfortable seats and watch it on those giant screens. They may charge the most, play the most mainstream movies (they can sometimes surprise though), and have the biggest crowds but people still go there. And always will. Until the next multiplex comes along.

Rialto: Cnr Jervois Quay & Cable Street

The best place in the Wellington city centre, in this writer’s humble opinion, to watch films. Movies range from the non-mainstream to cool-mainstream with great atmosphere and friendly staff. The seats aren’t the greatest (and the screens are not the biggest) but I’d suggest you get over it. Because it’s great.

Video Stores

Amalgamated Video: 106 Taranaki St & others

Very good selection (mainstream and arty) and reasonably cheap.

Aro St Video Shop: 97 Aro St

The best selection of videos and DVDs in Wellington ranging from mainstream to obscure foreign and cult films that you won’t find anywhere else. If the selection overwhelms you, ask one of the very friendly staff members, who are very knowledgeable. Movies are however pricey, and are only overnight or 3-day, but students get 50% off on Tuesdays or ten-trip cards of for $30.

AV Suite: Vic Library, 9th Floor

OK, watching films there can sometimes be arse (sitting a few feet away from the TV and the occasional noisy person), but the fact that there’s a massive selection of films ranging from Die Hard to Xala and the fact that it’s free to watch films there, means it is a great way to kill some time between lectures.

Civic Video: 99 Upland Rd, Kelburn

Standard video store. Half price night on Tuesday.

United Video: 31 Courtenay Place

Very cheap, with Tuesday and Wednesday student nights, meaning you can rent old videos for $1. Great selection of videos, DVDs, and computer games. Open at all hours of the day, so if you’re ashamed to get porn, go there at 4am on a Sunday morning.

Video Ezy: 116-130 Taranaki St, 59 Adelaide Rd & others

Standard store. Standard price. Standard selection.

Wellington Film Society: Monday nights at the Paramount

Highly recommended if you have more than a passing interest in films. Membership costs $70 for students, and allows you to see over 30 films over the course of the year. There are also select films that are open to the public for a small donation. Films shown this year include an Ozu retrospective, a restored print of The Last Laugh, the Cremaster Cycle, and a number of French and American classics.


About the Author ()

Brannavan Gnanalingam has come a long way from being born in the teeming metropolis of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He may be known as feature writer for Salient, but is also the only man in history to have simultaneously donated both his kidneys. He is also an amateur rapper going under the moniker Brantank and hopes to win a Grammy.

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. VUW Halls Hiking Fees By 50–80% Next Year
  2. The Stats on Gender Disparities at VUW
  3. Issue 25 – Legacy
  4. Canta Wins Bid for Editorial Independence
  5. RA Speaks Out About Victoria University Hall Death
  6. VUW Hall Death: What We Know So Far
  8. New Normal
  9. Come In, The Door’s Open.
  10. Love in the Time of Face Tattoos

Editor's Pick

Uncomfortable places: skin.

:   Where are you from?  My list was always ready: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, puppy dogs’ tails, a little Spanish, maybe German, and—almost as an afterthought—half Samoan. An unwanted fraction.   But you don’t seem like a Samoan. I thought you were [inser

Do you know how to read? Sign up to our Newsletter!

* indicates required