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Akaroa's Retro Outdoor Film Festival


Retro Films from 9pm During Summer

Enjoy a fabulous retro film outside under the stars at Ethels Cinema Akaroa. All tickets for these sessions are just $10, you can choose to watch outdoors or inside the theatre for a more traditional screening experience. Tickets are limited for each indoor and outdoor session. Outdoor screenings are weather permitting and include state-of-the-art wireless headphones. ROAR T&C’s apply. All tickets availabe online from our website


Christmas with André - André Rieu

Celebrate Christmas with André Rieu at Ethels Cinema Akaroa!

André Rieu is back with an all-new concert featuring traditional carols, romantic waltzes and Christmas classics.
Two shows only!
Saturday 4th December 2021 - 2:15 PM
Sunday 5th December 2021 2:15 PM
Running Time: 2 hours 30 mins
Special pricing applies for this brand-new concert event.
Adult - $25.00
Senior - $20.00
Immerse yourself in the spirit of the season while singing and dancing away to lovely Christmas carols, romantic waltzes and beautiful melodies like Jingle Bells, O Holy Night, Hallelujah, a show-stopping performance of Walking in the Air and many more!
Marvel at the magnificent palace decorations including 150 beautiful chandeliers, over 50 Venetian candelabras and huge arched windows revealing a joyous wintery landscape including ice rinks and ice skaters. Christmas with André is guaranteed to warm your hearts and get you in the festive spirit.
Limited screenings on two dates: Tickets are available at our concert film ticket price of $20 for seniors and $25 adults, to secure your seat please book online or call the cinema on 03 304 777. Book tickets online at

Film & Food Experience with Julia

Ethels invites you to celebrate the delicious documentary 'Julia' with a Julia Child inspired film and food experience on Wednesday 1st December 2021 from 6pm to 10pm.
The Julia documentary features mouth-watering food cinematography, never-before-seen footage and personal photos of the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women.
Tickets for our special French inspired Julia Child event are $60 per person, this price includes a glass of bubbles upon arrival, appertiser, your choice of Julia’s Suprêmes de Volaille aux Champignons or Julia's Ratatouille Eggplant Casserole, dessert, and a ticket to the film. Buy your own additional drinks.
One date only with limited tickets available: To book a ticket for this event pop into the cinema, call the ticket office on 03 304 7777 or book online now using the link below. Book tickets online at
Wednesday 1st December 2021, please arrive at 6.00pm to enjoy your glass of bubbles and appertiser, the movie screening then starts at 6.30pm and concludes with dinner starting from 8pm. 

Meet & Greet with film director Hugh Macdonald for ‘This is New Zealand’

Join us this Saturday 16th October, from 5.15pm for the Akaroa premiere and special Q&A screening of ‘This is New Zealand’ with film Director Hugh Macdonald at Ethels Cinema Akaroa.
This is a unique opportunity to meet one of New Zealand's greatest film directors. Hugh Macdonald will attend the screening and take questions from the audience after the film.
As screened at the NZ Film Festival in 2007, THIS IS NEW ZEALAND is a presentation of two brilliant promotional documentaries made in the 1960's - designed to showcase our sweet nation. An intriguing & hilarious Kiwi time capsule. Don't miss it.
This is New Zealand was the New Zealand National Film Unit's most successful production. It broke all records for audiences at home (over 400,000) and abroad (over two million). It created a new benchmark for innovative, compelling film-making, pushing the boundaries of film concept and technique in New Zealand at the time.
The film combines scenic images including aerial cinematography with rousing classical music such as Sibelius' Karelia Suite.
Hugh Macdonald’s long filmmaking career encompasses historical epics, Oscar-nominated shorts, and lots of time on the road. Macdonald is probably best-known for three-screen spectacular This is New Zealand, which got crowds queueing at World Expo in Japan. A two-decade long stint at the National Film Unit also saw him directing two episodes of historical epic The Governor, and producing the first of many animated shorts.
Limited tickets are available at our regular prices, to secure your seat please book online or call the cinema on 03 304 777. Book tickets online at

Bastille Day in Akaroa with Ethels

Ethels invites you celebrate Bastille Day in Akaroa with a French-inspired film and food experience on Bastille Day Wednesday 14th July 2021 * 6pm to 10pm. Choice of two new French films (with English subtitles) and a delicious French inspired dinner including French bubbles on arrival, entrée, cinema ticket, dinner and desert. To book a ticket for this event pop into the cinema, call us at the cinema office on 03 304 7777 or book online using the link below.

Dietary Requirements cannot be accommodated.
BYE BYE MORONS (ADIEU LES CONS) 87 mins | Rated M (Adult themes)
In this comedic French drama, a 43-year-old hairdresser with a serious illness embarks on a quest to find the child she was forced to abandon nearly three decades ago, enlisting the help of a blind archivist and a burnt out middle-aged man.
THE GODMOTHER (LA DARONNE) 104 mins | Rated M (Violence, offensive language & drug references)
The great Isabelle Huppert leads this French crime comedy as a translator for the police who, in a strange twist of fate, flips to the other side of the drug dealing coin.
Tickets for our special Bastille Day event are $55 per person, this price includes a glass of bubbles upon arrival, entrée, your choice of coq au vin or beef bourguignon, desert, and a ticket to your choice of Bye Bye Morons (Adieu les cons) or The Godmother (La Daronne). Buy your own additional drinks.
Date: Wednesday 14th July 2021, please arrive at 5.30pm to enjoy your glass of bubbles and entrée, the movie screening then starts at 6.00pm and concludes with dinner starting from 8pm.


World Ocean Day at Ethels Cinema Akaroa

Tuesday June 8th is World Ocean Day and Ethels Cinema in Akaroa will mark the occasion with the premier of the international film event, the One Ocean Film Tour.

This world-class series of ocean-loving films focuses on adventure, the aquatic environment and inspirational stories. This year’s tour features 7 short films including ocean conservation, surfing, diving, exploration and much more.
Now in its second year, One Ocean has the vision to increase awareness about ocean protection and conservation by sharing films made by people who have dedicated their lives to the ocean and all her glory. All screenings are official registered events with World Oceans Day.
The premier event next Tuesday at 8pm at Ethels features all seven films. This will then be followed by screenings throughout the month of June with many opportunities to explore and enjoy these unique features and short films.
The One Ocean Film Tour is proudly presented in Australia and New Zealand by Blancpain. The tour is also supported by Thermos and Honu and presented in partnership with our community partners Sea Shepherd and Plastic Oceans.
“This festival ties into our focus on community filmmaking, '' says Ethels proprietor, Mark Bamber. “Not only is it made by independent filmmakers, it also features a subject matter that is close to the hearts of our Banks Peninsula community.”
With subjects as diverse as the changing face of Antarctica and Bryan Bruce of legendary surf film The Endless Summer there is something to capture everyone’s interest. There is a feature length doco on Rapanui (Easter Island) and a film that follows a solo-circumnavigation of the Drake Passage, one of the most dangerous sailing areas in the world.
Enthralling, thrilling and thought provoking cinemas around New Zealand will join a global audience to celebrate World Ocean Day with multiple screenings all over the world.


Senior Morning Tea

Join us for an advance preview screening of Dream Horse on Wednesday June 02. Standard senior pricing applies ($13 tickets), so morning tea is on us! The film starts at 11.00am sharp, so be sure to come early for morning tea (from 10.30am). 
Experience the inspiring true story of Dream Alliance, an unlikely race horse bred by small town bartender, Jan Vokes (Toni Collette). With very little money and no experience, Jan convinces her neighbours to chip in their meager earnings to help raise Dream and compete with the racing elites.
Join us for our special Seniors Morning Tea screening of Dream Horse with morning tea before the film starts. 
Wednesday 2nd June 2021, please arrive at 10.30am to enjoy tea and cake, the movie screening then starts at 11.00am and concludes at 1.00pm


For the perfect Mother’s Day in Akaroa, you can treat mum to our Marvellous Mother’s Day event.

The much-anticipated ‘Ammonite’ starring Oscar-winner Kate Winslet and four-time Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan will be premiered in Akaroa in time to treat your mum this coming Sunday 9th May 2021.
Following on from our sold out events including Ottolenghi, Soldiers Without Guns and Kororā, Ethels presents Marvelous Mother’s Day with an all inclusive Movie, Bubbles and High Tea event.
Surprise the mother in your life with a special experience this Mother's Day. Relax, unwind and indulge Mum with our Mother's Day Movie package. To book a ticket for this event pop into the cinema, call us at the cinema office on 03 304 7777 or book online using the link below.
Mother's Day is all sorted at Ethels. Grab your mum, your gran and your appetite.
Oscar-winner Kate Winslet and four-time Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan star in this forbidden romance drama from award-winning writer-director Francis Lee (God's Own Country), set in 1840s England.
Mary Anning (Winslet), a veteran palaeontologist, and Charlotte (Ronan), a young woman sent by her husband to convalesce by the sea, develop an intense relationship. Despite the chasm between their social spheres and personalities, Mary and Charlotte discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realisation that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.
Tickets for our special Mother’s Day event are $50 per person, this price includes a glass of bubbles upon arrival, high tea with sweet and savoury delights, and a ticket to the Akaroa premiere screening of the Ammonite movie.

Sunday 9th May 2021, please arrive at 1.00pm to enjoy our bubbles and high tea, the movie screening then starts at 2.30pm and concludes at 4.30pm. 

Akaroa Premiere Screening of Kororā

This Sunday April 25 we're celebrating locally produced film KORORĀ with a special screening event!
A community film produced by Blue Cradle, KORORĀ is a documentary about our local families of passionate conservationists working to protect the native white-flippered penguins of Banks Peninsula.
The film is being screened at 6.00pm this Sunday 25th April with a meet and greet from 5.30pm and a Q&A afterwards. Both the filmmakers and those involved in the documentary will be at the Ethels Cinema Akaroa screening!
Tickets just $10 each! Please show your support 🙌 for this locally produced film by attending the premiere screening on Sunday or see the website for additional screening times during the school holidays

Meet & Greet with filmmaker WILL WATSON at Ethels Cinema Akaroa

This ANZAC weekend we’re featuring the documentary ‘Soldiers Without Guns’ and your chance to meet the film's producer Will Watson at Ethels. Book tickets now for your chance to meet Will and hear first hand about his amazing story.
Narrated by Lucy Lawless and featuring music by artists including Fat Freddy's Drop, Anika Moa and The Black Seeds, the film follows the riveting journey of coalition soldiers as they land unarmed into the heat of a 10 year civil war using only the weapons of Music, Maori Culture and Love to create peace.
A David and Goliath story of the Pacific Island people of Bougainville rising up against the largest mining corporation in the world. 10 years of war saw 14 failed peace agreements. In 1997 the NZ army stepped into the conflict with a radical new plan.
Instead of taking guns into the war-zone, unarmed soldiers took guitars and culture. This idea was condemned by the national and international media - no-one thought it could work.
‘Soldiers Without Guns’ follows the riveting journey of the peacekeepers as they endeavoured to use Music, Maori culture and Aroha to end the worst civil war in the Pacific’s history.
This film creates a new hope for creating peace in our time. It shines a light on the untold story of unsung heroes of the New Zealand Defence Force.
A story all New Zealanders can be proud of.
Please join Ethels in welcoming filmmaker Will Watson to Akaroa.
Tickets for the Akaroa premiere of SOLDIERS WITHOUT GUNS are $15 per person (booking fee may apply)
Akaroa Premiere Date and Time: 7.30pm Thursday 22nd April 2021
Additional film dates are available throughout Anzac Weekend, please check the website for dates and times.
Please arrive at 7.30pm for your chance to mingle and meet filmmaker Will Watson, the movie screening then starts at 8.00 pm and concludes with a Q & A session with Will at approx 9.30pm.
Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic Drinks & Scrumptious Food Available to purchase
Please contact Ethels directly on 03 304 7777 to book your tickets to the Akaroa Premiere | limited places available.
Will Watson is an International award winning filmmaker. His first television documentary won 6 best international documentary awards.
In 2017 his documentary played at the Palais in Cannes during the Cannes Film Festival having won the best documentary at the World Peace Initiative. He started out his career in journalism and publishing in the 90’s and then moved into film making in 2002. He started out as a cameraman for BBC, ITV, Al Jazeera and Sky sport, then moved up to be a Director of Photography for larger international films like, “Dream Catchers”.
The Soldiers Without Guns story revolves around the New Zealand Defence Force ending a war using music, Maori culture and women’s empowerment... instead of guns. His work on film has led him to creating and being invited to do a TED talk and winning an international humanitarian award.


This Saturday 10th of April 2021 enjoy a special treat at Ethels Cinema Akaroa. We’re hosting the Akaroa premiere of Yotam Ottolenghi’s film Ottolenghi And The Cakes Of Versailles. To celebrate, join us for a special screening event which includes an afternoon tea of Yotam Ottolenghi inspired cakes with your choice of tea, coffee or a soft drink and ticket to the premiere movie screening. To book for our Ottolenghi event pop into the cinema or call us at the cinema office on 03 304 7777. Grab your friends, your gran and your appetite. An absolute foodies delight.

History meets patisserie
Cakes. They're not just a treat; they're an artform. Sundance award-nominated director Laura Gabbert (City of Gold) follows five chefs, including the world renowned Yotam Ottolenghi, as they attempt to bring something new, exciting and sumptuous (in cake form) to an extravagant food gala based on the art exhibit "Visitors to Versailles."
Tickets for the premiere of OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES are $40 per person, this price includes a selection of Ottolenghi inspired cakes with your choice of tea, coffee or a soft drink and ticket to the movie (Champagne optional!) .
Date: Saturday 10th April 2021, please arrive at 2.00pm to enjoy the selection of Ottolenghi inspired cakes, the movie screening then starts at 3.30pm and concludes at 4.55pm.