start the projector, dim the lights, cue the orchestra

going to the cinema here in wellington is quite a different experience than we’re used to at the boston megaplex.

firstly there are several great old classic theatres to choose from – the penthouse in brooklyn, the embassy in the cbd and the empire just 3 blocks from our house here in island bay.

the embassy has changed little expect it’s name (originally deluxe) since it first opened in 1924. unfortunately i don’t have the best photos but after entering a great italian tiled lobby you head up one of the sweeping marble staircases to the main lounge. on the right you have the jazz lounge with the overstuffed leather chairs and live music. to the left the cafe where you can get a coffee, slice of cake or a nice glass of wine. in the middle the ticket counter where you can also get a beer, juice or ice cream.

not your typical movie theatre restrooms.

your seat (assigned – early ticket buyers get the primo spots) is a large overstuffed leather chair or half of a 2 seater couch. there is a small built in table between seats for your wine glass (or whatever else you choose).

for the last 2 weeks the new zealand international film festival has been here in wellington. it travels around the country stopping in all the large and medium sized cities. it is a bit overwhelming with 200+ films to choose from – many that we wanted to see. we settled on just 3 with the highlight tonight – a screening of the 1925 harold lloyd silent classic “the freshman” with live accompaniment by the vector wellington orchestra.

the head of the film festival was on hand to introduce the film and give a bit of background. he noted his pleasure that the oldest movie in the festival by far was the fastest to sell out.

great movie, music and surroundings.

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