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Inside Jackson’s Embassy

January 25, 2010

Film director Peter Jackson is synonymous with visually stimulating movies like the Lord Of The Rings  trilogy, King Kong and the more recent Lovely Bones — but  he is also known amongst a small group of people as helping to kick start the large scale renovations of an aging historic lady in Wellington – the Embassy Theatre.

In the days of classical design, an era where people dressed up to go out, buildings like the Embassy had status. Luxury was prevalent, a result of rapid growth in consumer wealth and its sidekick — frivolity. War had passed and the depression wasn’t  in sight. At that time, 1924, the Embassy made its entrance on to the theatre scene: grand, ornate and one of a kind, it took the name of the De Luxe theatre and there it stood through changes in government, world wars, international struggles against communism, hippy love; and the era. But early in the new millennium circumstances changed. Gollum, Frodo and a gold ring had come to town and the Embassy had to present herself to the world.

by Cate

My first experience at the Embassy was in the year 2000 when Julia Roberts portrayed Erin Brockovitch, and Michael Caine played the loving eccentric addict in Cider House Rules. But the real Embassy experience happened at a different time in the evening, doing something that only wild fun-loving movie buffs would do — midnight viewing of Maria and the Von Trapp family. There I sat dressed up as the old nun, singing in line with the movie, wishing I was wandering over those alps with Julie Andrews and of course the ever handsome Mr Von Trapp. The Embassy, like many other film theatres worldwide, presented its audience with a true movie viewing experience – unbeatable.

After the renovations, the Embassy took on a new persona. This grand old lady still creaks when the ground underneath moves, but she really does shine. The Embassy’s beauty can be seen at any angle, in any light, anytime of the day, being carefully outfitted with marble staircases, ceramic tiles, wrought iron banisters and mirrors usually found in ballrooms or opera houses.

by Cate

Add a jazz lounge where musicians frequent, a wine bar, coke and popcorn being sold alongside lattes and home style snacks — then you get to understand the Embassy experience.

by Cate

Want to know more?

Seat prices are competitive with other cinemas throughout Wellington — depending on the day, time and movie event. For viewings and additional information here is the link: Embassy Theatre, Wellington.

Caffeinated Traveller

  1. January 26, 2010 6:37 am

    We always need such a person besides earning more and more money.

  2. travelforaircraft permalink
    January 26, 2010 10:45 am

    So very cool. Real stykle never goes out of style but all too often falls by the wayside. How good of him to restore the theatre and save some of the culture — not by storing it in a jar but by using it.

  3. January 26, 2010 10:58 am

    Such a great initiative. If/when I visit Wellington, The Embassy will be on the top of my list of places to see.

    As for Peter Jackson’s movies, I love the Lord Of The Rings trilogy (although I liked the books more) and King Kong. I am yet to see “Lovely Bones”. Have you seen it?

  4. January 26, 2010 3:16 pm

    What a terrific facility! It makes a great frame for the art it displays.

  5. January 27, 2010 7:03 pm

    Erica – yes I saw it a few weeks ago. My verdict? Let’s just say the jury is still out on this one.If you like Peter Jackson style visual graphics then you may like this movie. I have heard from others that the book and movie differ in many ways.

  6. January 28, 2010 9:02 am

    The world needs some style from time to time, some extravagance that benchmarks an era to the generations that pass by. The name says its all.

    I remember the first time I saw the Ambassador Hotel from the outside in Bombay.

    In those days they took the names they gave the hotels, seriously.

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