27 June 2019
Raising the curtain on a new cinema experience
The highly anticipated Lumière cinema is officially opening tonight (Thursday 27 June) at The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora in Christchurch.
Set in an award-winning, Gothic Revival heritage building overlooking the North Quad and Peacock Fountain, with luxurious Art Deco interiors and a slick cocktail bar, Lumière’s opening celebration will be attended by special guests Mayor of Christchurch Hon Lianne Dalziel and The Arts Centre Trust Board chair Felicity Price, among other invited guests, and emceed by Jason Gunn.
The new, two-screen cinema, which is in The Arts Centre’s West Lecture building, has its first public screening tomorrow night (Friday 28 June) – Another Day of Life (Jeszcze Dzień Życia) as part of the NZ Polish Film Festival.
This boutique cinema experience is unlike any other and has been created for Christchurch by well-known cinephile Nick Paris, who has worked in the city’s cinema and film industry for 40 years, and Max Hoffman, a former Hollywood screenwriter.
Nick says he cannot wait to share his “baby” with the people of Ōtautahi and beyond.
“Lumière provides a cinema-going experience that is second to none – not just for Christchurch, but within the world of boutique cinemas. It’s an experience that’s simply unmissable.
“Be prepared for indulgence – we are catering to those with even the most discerning taste – the magnificent Art Deco theme; two theatres decked out in plush, velvet high-back chairs; a curtain show remnant of Italian grand theatre; state-of-the-art technology; and a focus on service.
“Then there’s our little secret with the best views overlooking the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens – the adjoined Bijou bar. It features specially designed cocktails, craft beers, a bespoke wine list, Lyttelton Coffee Company coffees, freshly baked pastries, cheeseboards, Rollickin Gelato, She Chocolate and more.”
Nick says Lumière will take filmgoers back to cinema’s “good old days”.
“Although the habits of watching moving images are constantly evolving, the social value and pleasure of watching a film in a special place such as ours remains unique and undiminished.”
Showing a diverse range of quality films, Lumière’s programme draws upon quality selections that cross all borders and languages.
The Arts Centre programmes and partnerships manager Chris Archer says it is wonderful to have cinema return home after an eight-year absence.
“Cinema has been integral to The Arts Centre for 35 years – and counting – and the opening of Lumière marks another milestone in our restoration and rejuvenation.
“Lumière is a resplendent cinema offering unique, quality films and film festivals from across the spectrum and it fits wonderfully with The Arts Centre’s raison d’etre as a centre of the arts and a hub for creativity with rich layers of experiences.
“Nick and Max should be very proud of the cinematic world they’ve created and we at The Arts Centre are thrilled to be helping them share it with the community and visitors alike.”
Another Day of Life will be followed by another festival screening of Nina on Saturday and then Voices of the Land: Ngā Reo o te Whenua will be showing on Sunday and Ngāti on 7 July, both as part of The Arts Centre’s Matariki 2019 celebrations. Regular scheduling will begin Monday 1 July. Tickets can be purchased at lumierecinemas.co.nz or, from Friday 28 June, at the box office accessed from 26 Rolleston Ave (opposite the botanic gardens).
The Arts Centre was home to cinemas from 1976 until the February 2011 earthquake significantly damaged many buildings and resulted in the closure of the entire centre. A $250 million restoration programme began in 2012 with buildings being progressively restored and reopened. Two thirds of the programme is complete with 15 buildings restored and reopened to the public.