On Sunday, Bill and I decided to check out The Dark Knight Rises, securing some cheap seats thanks to the Entertainment Book. We headed to the Embassy Theatre in downtown Wellington; The Dark Knight didn’t disappoint and neither did The Embassy.
I have never in my life EVER been to a movie theatre that looked like this. This is not your teenager plagued multiplex with sticky bathroom floors. This place has a foyer! With chandeliers! And a coffee bar! Two marble staircases lead up to the main concession area, which included wine, beer, homemade cookies, all with art deco and stained glass details. Opening on October 31st, 1924, it has one of the largest singular movie screens in the Southern Hemisphere.
We’ve learned that in New Zealand, you actually reserve your seat when you buy the ticket. None of this “throw your jacket over 12 prime seats for all your friends who you swear are on their way” business. Perhaps the eldest-in-birth-order in me or my new German last name likes the order of it. But, I digress. The theatre can seat 862 people and features vaulted, ornate ceilings, and a premium-ticket section with leather seats.
Back in 2003 it hosted the World Premiere of the Peter Jackson film – The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Maybe you’ve heard of it. I’ve been told they shut down the main street in front of the theatre, Courtenay Place, and literally rolled out the red carpet. According to the always truthful Wikipedia, about 120,000 people showed up in 2003 to check out all the celebrities for the RotK premiere.
This fall, another Jackson film is getting it’s World Premiere at the Embassy: The Hobbit. I’ll likely join others to go and gawk at all the celebs. While I know there is no way I’d ever get tickets to the premiere, I am using the occasion to spur my reading and nagging from my brothers to read the book. If you’d like to check out more about the Embassy and read about it’s cool history, click here.