Embassy Theatre

10 Kent Terrace,
Wellington 6011

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Related Websites

Event Cinemas New Zealand (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Event Cinemas New Zealand

Previously operated by: De Luxe Theatres, Kerridge-Odeon, Village Cinemas

Architects: Llewellyn Williams

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Styles: Greek Revival

Previous Names: de Luxe Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 644.384.7657

Nearby Theaters

Embassy Theatre

Opened October 31, 1924 with Theodore Roberts in “The Ten Commandments”. The 1,749-seat de Luxe Theatre was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 manual 10 ranks organ which was opened by organist Emanual ‘Manny’ Aarons. Its exterior is stripped Classical, and the interior is classic Greek Revival hardtop. The lobbies are mosaic floor, and the theatre contains a Sicilian white marble staircase, blue tiled walls, and bronze fittings. The de Luxe Theatre was closed on November 9, 1945.

It was reopened by Kerridge-Odeon later in 1945, renamed Embassy Theatre. The Wurlitzer organ was removed from the building in 1959 and sold to a private individual. In 1972 it was installed in Tauranga Town Hall. When that was demolished in 1986, it was installed in the Baycourt Community Arts Centre.

The Embassy Theatre was closed for conversion to 70mm film in November 1960. The original screen and proscenium is hidden but preserved behind an enormous 70mm screen and proscenium. The screen is said to be the largest in the southern hemisphere. The downstairs is closed but not damaged, reducing seating to 852. Renovation revealed original paintings hidden behind 1960’s false ceiling. Work was completed on 19th December 2001 for the premiere of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings”. The main original auditorium is named The Grand. Two small screens named Cinema de Luxe have been created at ground level in the Black Sparrow Bar.

Contributed by Alistair Stewart

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 17, 2006 at 1:41 pm

A recent exterior photograph of the Embassy Theatre with a “Lord of the Rings” ‘extra’:
View link

Bradley Knewstubb
Bradley Knewstubb on October 13, 2008 at 2:17 am

Now operated by Sky City Cinemas, still only one screen.

Mark747 on March 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm

More historical information and photos on the Embassy here:
View link

Wilkinson on May 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Just to correct the info given above, the 70mm screen and proscenium was installed in 1960 not 1965.
The first 70mm film shown was “Porgy and Bess”.

itinerama on December 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Several rows in the stalls were used when 70mm was installed.You had to strain your neck and eventually they closed the stalls.I did sit there once but never again.The theatre manager’s brother was an actor in the fifties. It was truly the only place to see 70mm. The nearby Kings also had a fantastic 70mm screen ,only 2 feet smaller than the Embassy.The Embassy had the largest 70mm screen in Australia.Nothing in Australia or New Zealand matched the awesome screen as far as 70mm went.Australian 70mm screens were always small. I also worked at the State(later called Cinerama),Plaza,Kings,Tudor(later called Lido). as well as the Paramount. (as did my parents).As a child I remember cinemascope being installed at The Kings and seeing 3D at the Tudor.

itinerama on December 23, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Meant to say the largest 70mm screen in Australasia ,not Australia

davidcoppock on December 1, 2016 at 12:49 am

The Embassy Theatre had the Australasian premieres for “The Lord of the rings, The Fellowship of the ring”, “The Lord of the rings, The Two towers”, and the World Premiere of “The Lord of the rings, The Return of the king”.

ABCDE on July 7, 2017 at 11:36 pm

The 70ml screen was originally to go into the Majestic but the theatre owners would not allow the radical alterations needed to install it. When put in the Embassy the screen was so large that the sight lines were so bad that they couldnt use the downstairs seating as the overhang of the balcony cut out half the screen.They could only use the balcony seating of about 800. This caused programming problems as big films like James Bond had a minimum seating requirement of not less than 1000. Thus the big screen could not be used for a lot of the blockbusters that it was intended to be used for.

itinerama on August 4, 2017 at 8:24 pm

You are both wrong ABCDE and Robert. The stalls were used when 70mm was installed but only for a very short time.I saw all of the 70mm films shown there until 1967.

itinerama on November 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm

The Embassy is now a triplex with two smaller cinemas on the ground level

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