Wellington Scoop

Film Society fighting to save the Paramount for the community

News release from Wellington Film Society
The current operators of the Paramount cinema, CPL, have decided not to continue their lease, and will exit at the end of September. The future of the cinema itself is still an open question.

Of course this does concern us, as our programme runs until the end of November and we have enjoyed a warm relationship with the current cinema operators who have been strong supporters of the Wellington Film Society. It is absolutely our intention to run a full programme this year and today’s news has the potential to affect eight of our screenings which are scheduled in October and November. We have begun making plans to ensure we can keep this commitment to our membership.

Then we look into next year and beyond for an ongoing venue for the Wellington Film Society. Our first choice is to remain at the Paramount for screenings – it is a venue which accommodates our membership size while keeping the cost of membership at an affordable level.

But it is not just about us – the Paramount is host to diverse groups across the Wellington community, from the NZ International Film Festival in winter, to the University of the Third Age through the year, to theatre, live music, the Opera Society, Lit Crawl and the Abundant Life Church. These are only a few of the many arts-based and community groups that use the venue.

It is for this reason that we feel absolutely committed to retaining the Paramount as an events venue for the wider Wellington community. This is not driven by sentiment for a 100-year-old cinema but by a real need for a venue of this size in central Wellington. We will certainly be driving this message home forcefully and directly and we hope to see our civic leaders display commitment beyond their words for the well-being of the arts and culture community in the Capital.

We will need your help by sending this message out loudly and clearly – we have a large and strong membership so I ask that you let your voices be heard, whether through your own contacts, through social media or if you wish to become involved with our own concerted push, let us know.

We’ll get the ball rolling with a hashtag to get this campaign started #Paramount100notout – we’re planning to put plenty more runs on the board!

As you know, we are into our 71st year of screening films and have seen a lot of change over this time. We are under no illusions that this is a challenge which we feel resolutely that we can overcome and continue sharing our love of cinema for many years to come.

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”


  1. Libby Grant, 31. March 2017, 7:27

    Totally agree. The Paramount is a wonderful venue for so many arts and community groups and it is not acceptable to lose it.

  2. Ellie, 31. March 2017, 10:19

    Forget the Film Museum, buy the Paramount cinema