Every night is movie night appropriate! Whether it’s date night or you just want to have some quiet time to yourself, watching a film at the cinema is something that will never get old. And, lucky for us, we are spoilt for choice when deciding which cinema to go to because there are plenty in the City of Sails.
Each has their own little unique twist to make provide a cracker of an experience so read on to discover Auckland’s best cinemas.
Queen Street, St Lukes, Albany, Westcity, Westgate, Manukau, Newmarket
Let’s start off with one we all know and love, Event Cinemas. They can be found all around Auckland but the one on Queen Street is where it’s at. They don’t joke around when it comes to movie screenings, providing a range of different experiences to make it as epic as possible. Elevate your movie with some wine and a Kapiti cheese plate at the Gold Class theatre or get amongst the IMAX experience of watching the new blockbuster hit on the biggest screen in Auckland.
Who said movie tickets were too expensive? Berkeley Cinemas located in Takapuna sells all their tickets from $10.90 from Sundays to Wednesdays. We all know what that means, more spare coins for snacks. Surrounded by tasty eats such as Burger Burger, House of Chocolate and Poke Poke and no rules against bringing in your own food, feel free to go wild with the movie feast.
Low-key and underground are just a couple of words to put Academy Cinemas in a nutshell. Although smaller in size compared to a lot of other cinemas, Academy’s cozy ambience has a charm like no other. The experience is intimate and this little arthouse screens some cult classics and indie gems that you need to get amongst. Academy Cinemas also allows you to hire out a private theatre for a screening free of distractions and it gets no more intimate than that.
Situated in quaint little Devonport is the independently run cinema, The Vic. Not only is this theatre a place where they screen films, it’s a building of rich history. Established in 1912, The Vic has become a local favourite amongst the Devo citizens but don’t let that ancient age make you think it hasn’t been well looked after. The Vic has everything you need from comfy seating, big screens, 3D system and not to mention, their choc tops are taken to the next level as they use gelato.
From the outside, you wouldn’t guess the classy décor that this arthouse cinema has in store. With a Greek-style fit out, dazzling chandeliers and spacious theatre rooms, it’s impossible to walk out of Capitol Cinema without feeling like royalty. Sit back on their plush purple chairs and get amongst one of their many films. From indie to blockbuster hits, Capitol has got it all and yes, they have a snack bar serving beer and wine.
Bridgeway Cinema is an absolute gem located on the North Shore and is renowned for being one of the funkiest cinemas in town. This little boutique cinema has only four theatre spaces and they each give something a little different. Our fave is cinema four, it only has 18 seats so you’re getting the most intimate experience which really gets you into your movie. Bridgeway also allow you to hire out a whole cinema room so you can fill those seats with the people you want and have everything your way.
Located in West Auckland is the nostalgia-filled, old-fashioned Hollywood Cinema. Throw it back to the OG days of cinema with their velvet carpets and curtains and best of all, they have an organ! This organ isn’t just there to look pretty, if you’re lucky, you get to see someone actually play it. Hollywood Cinema also take film very seriously with their 24-hour movie marathon once a year and even play some silent films throughout the year.
This quaint village is renowned for their markets, little do a lot of people know that Matakana is also home to one of the best cinemas. Matakana Cinemas has become a favourite amongst locals for their sophisticated interior, Lazyboy front row seats and welcoming hospitality. Elevate your movie night with a glass of wine that you can actually take in to the cinema. If wine isn’t really your thing, the baristas at Matakana Cinemas know to brew up a good cuppa coffee too.
Locals in Pukekohe don’t have to take a long drive to get their movie night fix as they have Cinema 3. Relaxed, clean and with good ice-cream, it has all the necessities for a mighty fine movie cinema experience. Cinema 3 is especially popular for their service from their friendly, movie buff staff which keeps locals coming back again and again.
Sylvia Park, Botany Downs, Wairau Park
Shopping is a workout, all that cardio can get the better of you and the best way to rest those legs is at Sylvia Park’s Hoyts Cinema. Get in on their Hoyts Lux experience where you can have an in-dining experience while watching the movie. If you want to just keep things casual, opt for their Xtreme screen, which (obvs) has a massive screen and killer sound system to really take your film up a notch. Of course, we have to mention the ice cream Hoyts provide. Ben & Jerry’s can be found here and how could you say no to some cookie dough ice-cream?
Built in 1930, Monterey Cinemas has become a landmark of East Auckland. Monterey Cinema provides all the things that create the formula to the ideal movie experience. They have cake and coffee on offer before you watch your movie, the staple popcorn and most importantly, wine which you can take into the cinema. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, wait till you see their in-house pizza menu—it is not to be missed. Look out for the festivals they host throughout the year as some of them are the perfect family or date-night event like their Disney Classics festival.
This suburban cinema isn’t only spacious in terms of seating but also parking. Get your stress-free movie experience at Lido Cinemas in the suburban area of Epsom. Renowned for their exceptional and personable service, the Lido is a favourite among locals. With a fully stocked snack bar of ice-cream, popcorn and wine along with a selection of critically acclaimed films, Lido Cinemas should definitely be included on the next date night or family day out agenda.
Yup, Newmarket is the home to not one but two of Auckland’s best cinemas. Just minutes away from Broadway Event Cinemas is Rialto where they screen rare indie gems in the world of cinema. With a food court located right next to the theatre, Rialto is the go-to destination spot for people who take their eats just as seriously as their movies. The comfortable seating and generous leg space also make it a favourite amongst Aucklanders.
Located within Lynnmall is Reading Cinemas which is an absolute mega house of huge screens and booming sound systems to get the most out of your experience. The Titan XC Cinema is no joke with its world-class facilities to make any film as epic as possible. But if you’re wanting something more intimate, Reading Cinemas also provide a luxury experience where you can dine on some high quality eats and swirl your wine glass while watching your film of choice.
Waiheke locals don’t need to catch a ferry to get their movie night as they have one on their side as well. Waiheke Cinema is more than just a cinema, it’s a symbol of teamwork as it’s fully funded and governed by a board of trustees and movie buff volunteers within the Waiheke community. Not only do they screen blockbuster hits but they also screen short documentaries which capture the stories of the locals which is also filmed by the Waihekeans. Sink back into one of the donated couches for an intimate experience you won't forget.
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Image Credit: 500 Days Of Summer