The November 2016 Kaikoura magnitude 7.8 earthquake largely destroyed the lovely old Mayfair cinema on the foreshore, leaving little more than the art deco-styled pink and black facade salvageable. In the ensuing months, the community of Kaikoura has been fund-raising (donations, film screenings in other venues, art auctions etc) to have the Mayfair rise again. One particular local (John Wyatt) has been the driving force behind this.You can find more information about their fundraising on their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/mayfairkaikoura/
When I visited on December 9, 2019 the timber framing for the external walls was being raised. The plan for the new Mayfair includes two cinema screens and a large auditorium for live events. It will provide a important cultural centre for the lively town of Kaikoura, and a replacement balcony will ensure it will be once again a cinema which has one of the finest views of mountains and ocean in the world.
There is a proposed opening date of 9 November 2020. I hope to be there.
The Mayfair pre-earthquake:
Auckland Live (www.aucklandlive.co.nz) has announced an extensive programme of outdoor film screenings in Aotea Square for the summer months of December/January/February. There are screenings on Thursday and Sunday; to include popular feature films (starting Hunt for the Wilderpeople), short film programmes, and recent documentaries.
Update: On my recent South Island I encountered more outdoor summer screenings: in Nelson, Christchurch and Lincoln. Pictures below from planned screenings in Christchurch and a screening underway, next to the Apollo Cinema in Lincoln.
There will be outdoor, evening screenings of Casablanca, Stop Making Sense and The Rocky Horror Picture Show as part of the Hamilton Gardens Festival, Feb 26-28.
Geoff Lealand was an Assoc Prof in Screen and Media Studies at the University of Waikato from 1992 to 2017. Now retired (not a word he favours), he writes social history, maintains this site, its Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as going to the cinema at least twice weekly.