"Our StoryIn 1976, the Academy Cinema was opened in the old Boys High Gymnasium in the Arts Centre in Christchurch. The Auditorium held 220 seats and became a centre for "art-house" film in Christchurch. The business was owned by Masters Cinemas and managed by Rodney Cook, a shoe designer with a passion for film. In 1986 the Cloisters Cinema - a smaller 70-seat auditorium - was opened in the nearby Scott building in what was originally a television studio.In 1986, Rodney and his wife Annette bought the cinemas and installed a smaller 11-seat Academy Classic cinema on the upper level of the Academy building along with the Casablanca Wine Bar. The cinemas were completely refurbished and re-upholstered and licenced allowing patrons to enjoy a glass of wine with their films, and with Rodneys keen eye for excellent art movies, became the leading venue for this genre of film in the country. Their sons Darren and Glenn and daughter Rebecca joined the family business and helped with the operations of the cinemas.On the back of the demand for quality films, they opened the Metro Gold cinemas in Worcester Towers in 2008, a triple screen, purpose built art cinema complex. Featuring axminster carpets and luxury seating in both the cinemas and the waiting spaces, the Metro Gold was held as the best example of Gold-class cinemas ever built in New Zealand. The Academy, Cloisters and Metro Gold were seen by film distributors as the safest location to place their films to ensure the best audience success.Regrettably on 26 December 2010 an aftershock from the earthquakes in Chrisctchurch crippled Worcester Towers, and the building was deemed unsafe. On February 22, 2011 with the major quakes affecting the city the building collapsed and the Metro Gold was lost forever. The Academy and Cloisters cinemas were also closed and the Arts Centre cordoned off for major repair work scheduled to take 5-10 years.After much time spent searching for the ideal location they found The Colombo, a privately owned mall which had been the focal point for fashion stores and fine wares. Plans were developed for a new purpose built three screen complex to replace those lost, in a structurally sound building with plenty of customer car parking and surrounding businesses. We screen quality films to a wider age demographic with arthouse and blockbuster films to all customers.On 17 January 2013 Rodney lost his long battle with prostate cancer. The family have continued the dream and developed Christchurch's newest luxury Gold Class arthouse and blockbuster cinema. The passion of the family's efforts and their collective experience over the past 35 years has been channeled into this premiere experience.The family all look forward to seeing you soon."
Notes for card holders
"At the Academy Gold we want all our customers to feel welcome and receive excellent service. We realise that our disabled customers face some barriers that we can help them overcome. The staff at the cinema have specific training around those barriers and what they can proactively do to make a difference.We also realise that for some there is the need to have an essential companion to provide dedicated assistance. So if your Hāpai Access Card has a +1 symbol we are pleased to provide that person a ticket for free (Note: not available Saturday after 5pm, public holidays, and for any alternative content like National theatre and Met Opera’s)."
Standing and Queuing
If you would like assistance going and leaving the auditorium, please inform the person on reception and wait in the foyer.
The entry to the foyer from the car park is at ground level through two sets of glass doors. Two of our auditoriums are accessed on the flat, while the third has a few steps to access. There are no specific seating spaces for wheelchairs in the auditoriums, but we will assist clients to transfer from their wheelchair to their seat which will be in the front row.
Free parking is available in the 120-180 minute car park and immediate vicinity during the day before 5pm. After 5pm your welcome to park anywhere you like. Note: Please use the upper part of your ticket (cut along dotted line) and place it onto your dashboard of your car.
Access To Toilets
There are women’s and men’s toilets which are accessed on the flat down a corridor. There are no accessible toilets at the cinema, but there is a toilet in the Colombo shopping center.
We welcome assistance dogs at Academy Gold – please inform the box office at the time of booking. We will aim to offer aisle or front row seating.
Essential Companions Available for Access Card Holders with +1 Symbol. (Please note not available after 5pm on Sat and special showing).
Accessing Visual Information
Our front of house staff are available to assist in understanding the various signs and written information that is in the cinema.We also provide access assistance for patrons with vision impairments where an usher will help you to your seat. Please advise our box office staff at the time of booking if you require access assistance. If you let us know when you book that you or one of your party has difficulty with stairs, we can aim to seat you closer to the stage.
Accessing Audible Information
Please contact the owner, Darren, if you are interested in a special showing for those who have issues accessing audible information.
The Academy Cinema is family run and is a quieter and calmer environment than is found in the cinema complexes.