Welcome

A site created and maintained by Geoff Lealand, Screen and Media Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand. Contact: lealand@waikato.ac.nz

To begin with a short  quote and a long quote:

Clive James on cinema-going,  The thrill that began with a shaft of light in the dark will still go on.
(The Atlantic, June 2011, 97)

There’s only one problem with home cinema: it doesn’t exist. The very phrase is an oxymoron. As you pause your film to answer the door or fetch a Coke, the experience ceases to be cinema. [In the  cinema] we are strangers in communion and, once that pact of the intimate and populous  is snapped, the charm is gone.   Anthony Lane ‘Home Movies’, The New Yorker, November 7, 2011, p. 91

Grand words indeed, but such sentiments are the motivation for this venture. Some might say it is a little ironic to be setting up a website celebrating the pleasures of going to the cinema–and going to the cinema in New Zealand, in particular–at a time when we are all supposedly sitting at home watching films on DVD, or on our computer (legally or illegally acquired), or even on the tiny screens of our mobile phones.

But the evidence is otherwise, for very large numbers of us (New Zealanders included) continue to step out on the journey to the local cinema (or theatre or movie palace or multiplex or whatever you call it). For example, one website (www.nationmaster.com) claims New Zealanders rated number three in 2010, in terms of cinema attendance per capita (behind Iceland and the USA). Certainly we don’t go to films like we used to years  ago, when there were far fewer entertainment choices and ‘going to the pictures’ (any picture!) was the most popular social outing in New Zealand.

Statistics New Zealand have recently produced an interesting little report,  on how things used to be. View Report. Nevertheless, changes in technology (the production, distribution and exhibition of film) are creating new opportunities for the survival, arrival and revival of independent cinemas.  This is all to do with the inevitable shift to digital technology and you can see some of the ramifications for Australian and New Zealand independent cinemas in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)  7.30 Report from March  2011 on YouTube at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HOQoPThGag

But for many, many New Zealanders, irrespective of the screening method,   film-going remains a very important social activity and a vital part of cultural life–not just at the time of film festivals, but throughout the year.

This site is in celebration of this ritual, as it continues to be played in the small South Pacific nation of New Zealand. But it is also about a particular kind of movie-going; it not about the generic multiplex experience, where going to see blockbusters like Transformers 3 or the latest Harry Potter movie is pretty much the same wherever you go .

It is about a different kind of movie-going experience: the independent or ‘art house’ film experience, at venues such as:

1. Crooked Mile Talking Pictures, Hokitika (interior, 2010) CLOSED April 2012

2. The Civic, Queen Street, Auckland (foyer, 2009)

3. Mayfair Community Theatre, Kaikoura  (2011)

75 comments on “Welcome
  1. Geoff Lealand says:

    Check out the excellent, full-page feature by Steve Kilgallon “Heartland’s screen test” (Sunday Star Times,July 6 2014, A13) on New Zealand small town cinemas, with a particular focus on the Anzac Theatre in Dargaville. It is includes a side-bar “Lealand’s Favourites’ and images from this site.

    So many more I could have included ….

  2. Geoff says:

    See new post about the Tivoli Cinema, which opened in Cambridge in May 2014.

  3. Geoff says:

    Things are a bit quiet here at the moment, as I am back into teaching. This includes a World Cinema course, which I really enjoy. Looking towards to mid-semester break in three weeks, when I can get back to re-visit cinemas.

    Last month I did get to see a film (‘Inside Llewyn Davis’) at the Embassy in Wellington, in one of the two downstairs boutique screens. Very nice!

  4. Geoff Lealand says:

    See post about the Maoriland Film Festival in Otaki, April 26-30 2014

  5. Geoff Lealand says:

    You can find out about outdoor summer film screenings in Auckland via wwww.moviesinparks.co.nz/ . Free movies on every Friday and Saturday evening all over Auckland!. Start once the sun has gone down.

  6. Geoff Lealand says:

    The Suter Cinema in Nelson has scheduled an interesting Summer Film Festival, running Dec 28 2013 to Feb 6 2014. Includes excellent titles, including recent festival releases, such as ‘Twenty Feet From Stardom’, ‘Behind the Candelabra’ and ‘Before Midnight’. Two films you should make a real effort to see are ‘The Turning’ (Jan 6, 16, 28, 31) and ‘Nebraska’ (Jan 16, 18, 19, 27, 28).

  7. Geoff says:

    In the episode featuring the Hawke’s Bay, in the rather good “This Town” series recently screening Saturday evenings on TV One, there was a segment featuring Geoff Hole and the Gaiety Theatre in Wairoa. Do take a look at it, on TVNZ On Demand (ep 2, 13 October)

    http://tvnz.co.nz/this-town/s1-ep2-video-5599179

    I went through Wairoa two weeks ago, on a tour around Hawke’s Bay and Bay of Plenty cinemas.

  8. Geoff Lealand says:

    Another cinema has closed: the Ascot in Upper Hutt, which closed in early September after failing to find a new owner. It was a nice cinema but with only one digital screen, it was facing the same costly upgrades other places are facing.
    The number of CLOSED entries on the Cinema Directory are getting a little too numerous ….

  9. Geoff Lealand says:

    Sad to hear that the Empire Cinema in Island Bay (Wellington) suddenly closed its doors on October 16. According to manager Chantel Theunissen, ‘We are hopeful that it will be open again in the future, but for the time being we will be closed’ (Dominion 17/10/213.
    I do hope it re-opens soon as it is a fine example of a community-based cinema.

  10. Geoff Lealand says:

    Teaching is nearly over for the year so I plan to get around some of the remaining cinemas, revisit some others, and add new places.

    Hoyts have just opened a new in the Downtown Plaza in central Hamilton and although it is great to have another 5 screens in town, it is screening the same mainstream fare as the Hoyts cinemas at the Base (Te Rapa) , and elsewhere.

  11. Geoff says:

    Interesting item on Seven Sharp last night (TV One, August 22) on the final screening of 35mm in Auckland cinemas.

  12. Jeremy Macey says:

    Hi Geoff,

    good to see you at the Big Screen Symposium and I’m really enjoying your site. It’s interesting to review the discussion on here charting the introduction and expansion of DCP. I’m learning about the VPF and its implications for filmmaker-distributors like the Torchlight Films team who made Hook, Line and Sinker. It will put a dent in revenues from smaller titles/centres which may in turn limit the cinemagoers’ access to such films. However I’m reserving judgement until I get more information, there doesn’t seem to be much concrete information available within NZ yet. So I’ll try finding out from the horse’s mouth – the US ‘integrator’ (middleman?) Cinedigm. Watch this space…

  13. Geoff says:

    Great to see the new community-funded cinema at Dargaville is about to open. Check details at http://www.facebook.com/#!/ANZACTheatre?hc_location=stream

  14. Geoff says:

    Monterey Cinemas in Howick has won the Flicks People’s Choice Awards—Best Independent Cinema 2012/13

  15. Geoff Lealand says:

    My local cinema–the Lido in central Hamilton–is about to go fully digital. This message from Stewart, the Manager:
    “We’ve got exciting developments this week at the Lido. After a good century or so of service the days of 35mm film are all but at an end. Over the next few months pretty much all film will be gone from New Zealand cinemas as exhibitors around the country convert to the new DCP (digital cinema package) systems. Digital cinema has come a long way in the past few years and while there are some differences between DCP and 35mm projection there is virtually no difference in quality anymore (this was not always the case). Those of you who came to see a film at last year’s International Film Festival have already experienced DCP at the Lido and our new machines will be very similar to what we screened on during that period. Personally I’m a little sad to see the demise of 35mm as that is what I learned to use as a young buck projectionist. All the same, DCP is the way of the future and I’m also excited to get our first new projector in later this week. All things going well we’ll have one DCP in & screening by this weekend. The remaining two screens will be done over the next couple of months”

  16. Geoff Lealand says:

    In addition to the new Academy Gold Cinema in Christchurch, fund raising is underway to develop a fully digital cinema within the Isaac Theatre Royale in the inner city. This would bring the NSZ Internsational Film Frestival back to the city centre, as well as ameliorating the loss of so many cinemas in the 2011 earthquake.
    Check out their website at http://www.isaactheatreroyal.co.nz/, ande give a little towards this venture.

  17. Geoff says:

    Great to see another sign of renewal in Christchurch, with the Academy Gold Cinema opening in Colombo Street in late April. I will add it shortly.

  18. Geoff Lealand says:

    Hope people like the re-design of this site, which makes it a little cleaner and clearer. Thank you, Grant.

  19. Geoff Lealand says:

    Things are quiet here at the moment as I am in California on a research trip (currently I Santa Monica). Taking photos of old cinemas when I encounter them–such as a lovely one in Riverside whilst I was at the university there. Built in1929, it screened the first public showing of Gone With the Wind.

    But I continue to daily deal with obnoxious spam, which is such a waste of time….

  20. Geoff Lealand says:

    Gradually adding more cinemas and I reckon I have about 80% now as ‘active’ sites. See Everybody’s (Opunake) and King’s (Stratford) theatre for good example of how some communities are dealing with the twin challenges of structural and technical upgrades.
    I will be in the US (California and Ohio) next month and hope to come across art house/repertory cinemas.
    In May/June I hope to get those cinemas (eg Pahiatua, Kaikoura) still to be added.

  21. Geoff Lealand says:

    Oh, obviously The Vic is in Auckland–in Devonport, specifically?

  22. Geoff Lealand says:

    Kia ora David; I don’t profess to be an expert on systems so it might be more helpful to you to contact people at cinemas which have recently upgraded (eg Academy in Auckland central) or folk with more expertise than I (eg Mark Christensen at the State in Nelson). You can find contact details under particular cinemas on this site. If they cannot help you, they can direct you to places where you will find information. Is The Vic in Auckland?

  23. David Downs says:

    Hi, I am on the Trust of a community theatre in Auckland (www.thevic.co.nz). We are currently about to install Digital Projection into 1 of our 3 theatres. We are somewhat struggling to raise the money, and in some ways also to know which is the best system to go for. I have been wondering if there is a community or industry group of independent cinema operators who we can bounce ideas off. In particular, fundraising ideas, and sharing advise on which is the best equipment at the best price.
    Thank you for any advice you can offer a small theatre operator.
    Cheers

    David Downs
    Trustee – The Vic

  24. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, Bruce. I will get back to Pahiatua as soon as I can but it may not be until May or June, following a US trip.

  25. Bruce lea says:

    Hi Geoff,
    If you are down this way, contact me and I can show you through our Regent in Pahiatua.
    Cheers

  26. Geoff Lealand says:

    With five months of sabbatical leave beginning this week, I am planning to complete this website by July. This will entail visiting (or revisiting) those cinemas to be added (ie not yet ‘live’), as well as updating existing information. One example: I was in New Plymouth recently for Tropfest and re-visited the Arthouse Cinema in Devon Street but found it closed. I am endeavouring to find out whether it will re-open.

  27. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, David, I will add that information. Best wishes to those on the Wellington Film Society, I was in the Wellington committee a long, long ago–last century, in fact.

  28. Hi Geoff

    Your site has just been drawn to my attention. Very good effort and well worth while. I see you mention that the Rialto in Auckland is home to the Auckland Film Society on Monday nights. You could do the same for the Wellington Film Society. We screen 6.15pm Mondays at the Paramount, March to November.

    I will give your site a mention in the Wellington Film Guide. http://www.film.wellington.net.nz

    cheers
    David

  29. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, Gary. A welcome contribution….

  30. Gary Potts says:

    Hi Geoff. Thankyou for providing a valuable platform to discuss the current issues concerning independent cinema in NZ. As you mentioned, Victoria Cinema Hamilton has finally closed (unless a major miracle occurs in the next week!).

    My aim of bringing a quality independent cinema experience to Hamilton was achieved in 2002, satisfying a market for niche audiences to view top-grade arthouse content in a smaller, traditionally-styled venue. It will go down in regional cinema history that we provided such luxuries as espresso coffee and wine and food “direct to your seat”. As well, we installed stadium seating, Dolby Digital sound, and two years ago added e-cinema, allowing the screening of more obscure and niche-targeted titles. All these were significant firsts for the small, ambitious Victoria and proved to be popular attractions. We were supported by an appreciative movie audience that went well beyond Hamilton. But attendence patterns have changed in recent years and our market erroded as other entertainment options bid for specialty audiences.

    The Victoria could have continued on but only for another short period. Putting aside the factors of running a business with all its complexities, it basically comes down to product supply. The main distributors have signalled a cut-off of 35mm film by April 2013, making our existing plant redundant. We could continue with mpeg2 E-Cinema for the foreseeable, but the direction of the industry is full conversion to DCP, including delivery of commercial arthouse by this method. The cost of conversion to DCP in a building not suitable for adding extra screens (to make it more viable), coupled with expiration of several lease extensions, means we’ve decided to pull-up roots here, given that there are other options on the horizon.

    I will post on here from time to time with any news, as I’m not wanting the “old Vic” to disappear in an air of mystery.

  31. Geoff Lealand says:

    The good news for locals like me is that Hoyts Cinemas are returning to central Hamilton, upgrading and re-opening the vacant Event Cinemas in Centreplace. Due to re-open in late 2013, this which will mean that Hamilton will be richly endowed with cinema screens, with Event Cinemas Chartwell, Hoyts Te Awa The Base, and the Lido.

    The only sad note is that the small boutique Victoria Cinema finally closed on November 4, after a long period of partial closures and partial re-openings. The final screening (Carol Reed’s wonderful ‘The Third Man’) was organised by the Hamilton Film Society. Nevertheless, there still is talk about yet another phase of life for the Victoria.

    Getting back in action: Over the next few months I will begin filling in the gaps (cinemas still to be added or visited) on this site. My objective is to get it pretty much completed (except for updates) by the middle of 2013.

  32. Geoff Lealand says:

    Probably a little premature…so much marking to do (which includes assessing 140 student blogs) so it will have to wait a little longer.

  33. Geoff says:

    Once B Semester teaching is over, in three week’s timne, I will get back to adding and updating this site.

  34. Geoff says:

    From a recent story from the online newsletter Screenhub, reviewing The Big Screen Symposium in Auckland in early September. A pity they didn’t get my name right but I don’t think I have ever had my online efforts described as ‘charming’ before. Charmed, I ‘m sure!

    “Geoff Leland`s work, including the charming research project Cinemas of NZ, offered a view of an under-exploited audience segment: old buggers.

    Noting that box office fell 11% in 2011 over the previous year to a less than impressive 3.2 visits per year, Leland attributed it in part to a growing reluctance among Hollywood`s preferred demographic of late teens to early twenties males to turn out. Quoting figures from Val Morgan and US and UK research, he noted the growth area was older female-skewed viewers who “dislike multiplexes and prefer hoodie-free environments to popcorn” and like age appropriate films “and anything with Helen Mirren in it”.

    He claimed the arthouse and independent sector now contributes c30% of NZ box office takings, but mused on whether the current arthouse audience represented the last generation of filmgoers.

    Digital (both as a cheaper production medium and method of distribution) was making it possible to better serve these audiences, and Leland pointed to a number of new cinemas (including Wellington`s Roxy and Wanaka`s Ruby`s) attracting such audiences. “

  35. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, Shane. I have an entry for Finns and I will update it. Another good reason to stop at Paekakariki.

  36. shane jarrett says:

    News regarding the Shoreline cinema in Waikanae
    They have opened a third screen at Finns hotel in Paekakariki
    26 seats and very classy
    Also the Focal point cinema of Feilding and Levin have taken over the cinema in Hastings
    Well done I say

  37. Geoff says:

    News regarding The Victoria Picture Palace in Devonport: according to their website (http://www.thevic.co.nz/), long-time manager John Davies “vacates on August 8 …and the Trust will soon announce the names of the new operating team who will take over the theatre”

  38. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, Brad. I hadn’t realised that Tourism NZ had moved so quickly on this. I will endeavour to get down to Fiordland but I am not sure when or how. The closest I came was Queenstown. Do you have some info I could use , in the meantime, to ensure you are included on the site (website, photos etc)?

  39. Kia ora Geoff…Tourism NZ have just supplied me with a link to your site and makes for some interesting and informative reading…Thankyou. Please check us out down here at Fiordland Cinema, home of Ata Whenua ( Shadowlands ).

  40. Geoff Lealand says:

    Shane: sure did. I will add it shortly.

  41. Shane Jarrett says:

    Well you are doing a great job and it is appreciated.
    Did you get to see our cinema in Waikanae?

  42. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, Shane. I have it on my list to visit, along with Whangamata. I am currently adding South Island and Wairarapa cinemas but there remains a list of around 15 places to visit or re-visit. It does depend on non-teaching breaks and opportunity, as I no longer have any funding to assist with travel.

    I expect this project will go on for quite a while longer…

  43. Shane Jarrett says:

    Hi Geoff.
    There is a great cinema at Whitianga that you have left off your list.
    It is a two screen purpose built cinema
    There is no web site at the moment

  44. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, Derek. I intend to get to the Kapiti Coast + Wairarapa cinemas as soon as I have the opportunity.

  45. Derek says:

    Good effort!

    Only just moved to the area, so haven’t visited yet, but Waikanae in Kapiti has the boutique-y Shoreline Cinema, http://www.shorelinecinema.co.nz

    Usual thing programme-wise, but welcome nonetheless this far out from the capital. Certainly seems to have the right idea about refreshments.

  46. Geoff Lealand says:

    I took a journey around the South Island last week (1200+kms driving over six days), funded by a small research grant from my university. Visited 17 different cinemas, from Sumner to Arrowtown, and I will be adding these over the next few weeks,
    There are places still to visit or revisit (eg Gisborne, Kaikoura, Wairarapa), and I will do this as the opportunity arises,

  47. Geoff Lealand says:

    Welcome,Roger. Could you send me information on the Raglan film screenings (in the Old School?) and I could come to a screening, or meet up with you. I did call by a month or so ago but couldn’t find the right person to get information from.

    You can email me at lealand@waikato.ac.NZ or ring me at the Univ of Waikato ext 6022

  48. Would you add us to your list please.

    Thanks,
    Rodger Gallagher

  49. Geoff says:

    The May 2012 issue of the New Zealand film and TV industry monthly Onfilm features an article I wrote about this site, as “Popcorn and panini: Cinemas and film-going in New Zealand” (p. 15,25). Not yet available online, unfortunately.

  50. Russell Lloyd says:

    Kia ora Geoff. I was a student of yours and Sam from 1992-95 and now work as a freelance technician in NZ. I just want to say hi, and to thank you for your help, knowledge and encouragement towards gaining my degree and laying a great foundation for my career. The site looks choice too! What is Mr Edwards doing these days?

    Cheers

  51. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, Craig. I learn about such places through contacts such as yourself. I will follow it up.

  52. Craig Parkes says:

    Hi Geoff, you need to see if you can check out the Ohakune cinema – The Big Mountain Short Film Festival was run for a while there a few years back and I found it a pretty charming place – as have I imagine a lot of other young local film makers who journeyed there. Just don’t mistake the heaters behind the seat in front as foot rests, otherwise you might end up with a melted shoe sole!

    The article in Onfilm has obviously done the trick, came here as soon as I read it (and it was the first article I read when I saw the cover of this months Onfilm!)

    http://www.visitohakune.co.nz/content/34/

  53. Geoff Lealand says:

    About to submit an article to the New Zealand screen industry journal Onfilm as I think it is time to start publicising this site. I am still adding material but I also have to spend time deleting annoying spam.

  54. Geoff says:

    Link pages are back (thanks, Grant)

  55. Geoff Lealand says:

    The information pages “Why ‘Independent’ and ‘Art house’?” + What comes next?” + “About the Author” seem to have slipped on the front page here but I am endeavouring to retrieve.

  56. Mark Christensen says:

    Hi Geoff,

    Please excuse my belated replay some months later… Yes NZMPEA is still very much alive and well and working on behalf of Independent Cinemas in NZ. NZMPEA has not actually merged with ICAA but has formed a close relationship with ICAA whereby two NZMPEA Executive members sit on the ICAA Board and NZMPEA members get the benefits of ICAA membership so far as that relates to NZ – there are some issues that differ between the countries (they don’t have our parallel importing issue for example) but the big one that is common to both is the VPF and digital conversion.

  57. Good work Geoff, will promote in our next issue of The Write Stuff!

  58. Geoff Lealand says:

    Many thanks, Mark. I appreciate you sharing your expertise here. These technological and policy decisions have very significant ramifications for the independent sector, even though they are happening far beyond the consciousness of your average film-goer.

    As this site grows and I add more content, I hope will also serve as a forum for discussions such as these. I would be very pleased if this happens as I have been very impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of the cinema managers and staff I have met in my travels around New Zealand.

    One more question, Mark; what is the situation with the recent merging of the ICCA and the New Zealand independent cinemas association? I realize it provides a stronger united body in pursuing shared interests but is there still a strong NZ association, to represent more local interests?

  59. Mark Christensen says:

    I enjoyed our discussion yesterday Geoff and no doubt we could have continued on for some hours….

    Some further comments on Andrea & Richard’s points above (albeit some months later). Richard’s point about the use of DCI compliant files & professional equipment vs mpegs and “home theatre” (ie consumer standard) equipment for the higher quality of presentation is one very important reason that the Studios insist compliance with the DCI standards, but it is not the only reason.

    A significant part of the DCI standard is to do with protection of the film maker from theft of the product (ie movie piracy). Mpeg files have no protection from copying at all and as we saw in the case of Boy it only takes one person a few minutes to illegally obtain a perfect copy of the file with consequent serious loss of income to the film maker and to cinema operators.

    A point that is missing from the conversation but described in the ABC clip in Geoff’s introduction is the fact that Independent cinemas in NZ and Australia have combined their resources and are close to concluding a VPF (Virtual Print Fee) deal with the Studios. Under this deal the Studios are providing a significant financial incentive to assist Independent cinemas to convert to DCI compliant digital projection.

    The end result of digital conversion is that all Independent cinemas will be physically able to access all movies (not the case at present) at the same time as all other cinemas (not the case at present) and that Independent film makers will be able to have the same quality of presentation and the same protections against illegal copying as their Studio counterparts. This can only be of benefit to the Independent sectors (both cinemas and film makers) as it provides freedom for the producers to market and release their product as they wish and it provides a common (worldwide) universal file format meaning that there will be no technical barrier to access to theatrical release worldwide.

    Added to which the quality of presentation (sound and picture) will be elevated to well above the standard available in the living room (or home theatre). For that surely is the goal of cinemas – to provide a cinematic experience with all it’s nuances that cannot be reproduced at home.

  60. ruth zanker says:

    I have just finished marking (week of Christmas!…thank you earthquakes). This is a great project Geoff. ruthx

  61. Lesley Grant says:

    Looks great Geoff. Look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

  62. Geoff Lealand says:

    Obviously there is a certain fluidity with a site like this, as cinemas come and go eg I was about to add in the Victoria ’boutique’ cinema in Hamilton but it showed its final film in early November and closed its doors. However, the Lido in Hamilton has come to the rescue and will re-open the Victoria as its fourth screen in a couple of weeks. Which is great news.

  63. Geoff Lealand says:

    Time for an update: now that teaching is done for the year, I can get get around more cinemas and have travelled around Northland and, most recently, Taranaki and Manawatu. I hope that I will have most the North Island accounted for, and information added, before the end of this year.

    Which leaves the South Island. I need to do it full justice and go back to places such as Dunedin and Christchurch, so I am intending to do this in 2012. I have asked my university for a modest travel budget to enable me to do this, as my initial investigations were rather fleeting and incomplete.

    So far, I am pleased how this project is progressing and I welcome your comments and suggestions.

  64. Geoff Lealand says:

    Getting more done but I can forsee this will be a long-term project. If you go the Cinema Directory page and click on a cinema which is highlighted in green (The Crooked Mile in Hokitika is the first), you will see how I intend to organise the information on this site. The structure needs a little more work but I do intend to keep it fairly simple.

  65. Geoff Lealand says:

    More information on particular cinemas added, 27 Sept. The next step wiull be to make this info available at a click of a button, together with photos.

  66. Geoff Lealand says:

    Apologies for my tardiness in adding more information to cinema sites. My one research day (Tuesday) has been swallowed up with PhD meetings, marking, preparation…and the nonsense that universities throw your way. The rest of the week is teaching, teaching, teaching…or marking. marking, marking. I have a whole bunch of details I am itching to add, in addition to planning more visits to North Island cinemas.
    Semester B teaching finishes in 4 weeks and I will have more time then but will be adding when I can in advance of that.

  67. Geoff Lealand says:

    I will be posting information gathered on my trip around the East Coast (Napier, Wairoa, Gisborne, Opotiki, Te Puke) shortly.

  68. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, Robert. Billy T – Te Movie is the kind of film I hope this site will assist in respect of distribution.

  69. Robert Boyd-Bell says:

    Hi Geoff
    Really interesting discussion – we had to pay exhorbitant amounts to send film prints of “Billy T – Te Movie” to some small cinemas that will never recover the cost of the print, but did so as part of the national release commitment.
    Technology will see the end of film projection very soon and mpeg2 files will be also rans to DCP.
    You need to add John Davies Victoria at Devonport (and Academy) and the Waiheke Community Cinema to your list.
    Will try Spada again this year if they have anything new to discuss – working on Public Broadcasting Foundation.
    Regards – Robert

  70. Geoff Lealand says:

    Thanks, Richard. Not sure whether to be flattered or offended by the ‘age’ comment but I am greatly indebted to you for the establishment of The Lido in Hamilton. It is a wonderful cinema and a great host for the Hamilton Film Society. My wife says it is a bit like ‘going to a bordello’ but she means that in a very complimentary way.
    Obviously I will be including both the Lido Auckland and the Lido Hamilton on this site. Would I be able to come by to talk to you some day soon?

  71. Hi Andrea – congratulations on getting your film made and into cinemas.
    Geoff – great to see you developping this site (especially given your age – if that is a current photo).

    I’d just like to comment on Andrea’s post in regards to full digital conversion and the ‘pressure’ smaller cinemas are getting from ‘the big distributors’ to convert. None of these large Studio Distributors supply MPEG files anyway as quite rightly they do not feel the quality is good enough. So if you are saying that the small cinemas are being pressured to convert to continue to receive film supply – I’m not sure that is accurate as they will not be getting supply at the moment anyway from the Studios. They will currenlty be receiving all their film supply from the smaller distributors and as such MPEG files will continue to be supplied to them.

  72. Geoff Lealand says:

    kia ora Andrea; pleased you found me. I intend to spread the news about this site once I have added more content. I agree with your comments re new opportunities with digital technology–it is a line I take in my book chapter. My wife Josephine Maplesden (Hamilton Girls) and Deb Thompson (Western Springs College) did a great presentation on ‘frugal film/simple cinema’ at the Screen Futures Summit in Melbourne in July.

  73. Geoff, great to see this site. Came across it quite by chance.

    Our independent feature HOOK, LINE & SINKER has just completed its theatrical release which began May 5. We distributed it ourselves in line with our philosophy of developing a sustainable model of filmmaking in NZ, whereby the returns from one film feed into the budget of the next – an impossible goal under the current conventional model of distribution.

    Hook, LIne & Sinker screened in 47 cinemas around the country, all but 4 of them independent. It becomes clear how important these cinemas are to our own distribution strategy and how vital they are for small communities. I am sure we can add one or two of the more unusual ones to your list.

    It is particularly important that these small cinemas are supported, as the way films are being exhibited (literally projected) is changing very rapidly. Most of these small independents screen what are called Mpeg2 files. NZ, India, and to a limited extent, the UK, have been the only countries in the world using this system. It is not ideal technically, but the infrastructure is affordable, and this is what has enabled the proliferation of small independent cinemas around the country.

    However there is another file called DCP with very high specs, which is set to become the standard screening format. It is already displacing 35mm film. (All 3D movies are DCP.) It will increase the profits of the distributors, as it is vastly cheaper than making and transporting film prints. But needless to say the cost of the infrastructure is prohibitive. Currently around $100,000 for a basic 2D system.

    Our concern as independent filmmakers who are reliant on these small cinemas, is that many of them may not be able to afford (or more likely not survive) the transition from Mpeg2 projection to DCP. Big distributors are already pressuring smaller cinemas to upgrade to DCP or risk losing their supply of films.

    They only way these independents will survive will be literally by getting more people into their cinemas.

  74. Admin says:

    Thanks, Helen. You are the first to comment here. As you can see, it is very much under construction. I have just about finished the introductory/opening page and will move on the map/directory asap.

  75. Helen Martin says:

    Fantastic to see this site Geoff. I’ll be following it with great interest. Helen

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