Skip to main content
Tag

carry on cleo

Review: Rio, Hop, Oceans, Sucker Punch and some meditations on the Roxy

By Cinema and Reviews

Wellington’s first Roxy Cinema was either notori­ous or legendary depend­ing on your point of view. Originally the Britannia on Manners Street, it was renamed the Roxy in 1935 and ran as an idio­syn­crat­ic inde­pend­ent until demoli­tion in 1974. Old school pro­jec­tion­ists would tell you that the Roxy was a genu­ine fleapit, run­ning con­tinu­ous ses­sions (no clean­ing) and provid­ing a cent­ral city hideout for people skip­ping work or school.

According to “The Celluloid Circus”, Wayne Brittenden’s won­der­ful his­tory of cinemas in New Zealand, own­er Harry Griffith was once asked by a cash­ier if she should call the tru­ant officer to appre­hend some young miscre­ant. “Let him buy his tick­et first,” snapped Griffith, “then report him.”

Griffith took a showman’s approach to pro­gram­ming, once risk­ing the wrath of 20th Century Fox by schedul­ing an impromptu double fea­ture of Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra and Kenneth Williams in Carry On Cleo. That’s the kind of spir­ited whimsy we tried to encour­age at the Paramount in my day and I do miss it.

Read More