The country's coolest cinema
Make sure to book the Dome Cinema in advance – it fills quickly.In the age of streaming, cinemas seem increasingly irrelevant – unless you head to one of Gisborne's best-kept secrets.
The Dome Cinema is a place of childhood dreams. You enter via a grand colonial-style mansion to reveal an elaborately colourful bar.
You can enjoy the Dome Cinema bar before and after your movie.Then, behind a nondescript door, lies one of the coolest cinemas in the country. You’ll find a series of enormous beanbags scattered around a large room, mood-lit by ceiling domes.
You'll be helped into the beanbags by a cinema attendant (if you try to do it yourself, you risk falling off the side). Then, sit back and enjoy the movie in style.
The Dome Cinema has an impressive outdoor area.During the half-time intermission, pizza and ice cream are delivered to your seat, which you can munch on as the movie continues.
The films are like pick and mix lollies – with something for everyone. And the party usually goes on well after the viewing, with the bar becoming more colourful as the night goes on.
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.