Wellington Scoop

Paramount operators closing the cinema, after failing to negotiate new lease

News from Paramount Cinema
After 100 years of nearly continuous operation as a cinema, Wellington’s iconic movie house the Paramount will close at the end of September.

Cinema Paramount Ltd (CPL) Director Janet Carson said the Paramount had commitments to festivals and hirers until then.

“We were keen to continue on in business at this site; the theatre is iconic and it has always been our dream to see it continue. We have run the Paramount for 15 years and we’re gutted to be the ones closing the door but we could not reach terms that were acceptable to us and to the building owner for a renewal.”

Carson said the lease that expires in May had been extended to September by negotiation with the landlord.

The NZ International Film Festival will be able to use the Paramount for one last time this year.

“Until September it will be business as usual, with our eclectic selection of movies, and events continuing. On behalf of the other CPL shareholders – Steven Ferguson, Simon King, Todrick and Nikki Taylor – we are proud to have kept the Paramount going as a lively venue for the best of cinema, as well as other events and live gigs, since we took over in 2002. It has not always been easy, but it has been a solid business and we have loved every minute of it. We want to thank all those who have used and loved the Paramount over the years for their custom and loyalty.”


  1. Lindsay, 30. March 2017, 19:56

    Though the cinema operators may be leaving in September, the auditorium itself – used by so many cultural and community organisations as well as for movies – will remain. The building owners need to be encouraged to show civic responsibility and ensure that the auditorium is kept available. Their vandalistic plan to gut it and create office space is not acceptable. It’s probably unaffordable too.

  2. Mike, 30. March 2017, 20:47

    Who are the building owners? [The owners are a Wellington man and a Hong Kong man.]

  3. Kirk, 31. March 2017, 10:18

    Didn’t one of the owners have financial problems with leaky buildings? I suspect he’s not really that interested in preserving the building.