History of the Central Cinema

Central Cinema was a finalist in the 2020 Westpac Otago Not-For-Profit Business Excellence Award

Central Cinema Central Cinema Inc. (CCI) was established as an Incorporated Society in 2006. The following year we started screening movies from The Orchard Garden (a restaurant on the outskirts of Alexandra) on a monthly basis. A year later, when we could see that people really did value and were supporting the cinema, we started screening three times weekly from a meeting room at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery in the centre of Alexandra.

In 2007 we joined forces with Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery, and the Central Cultural Centre Trust (the group that owns the Central Stories building) to develop the old and unused sports pavilion overlooking Pioneer Park into a multi-purpose community theatre which could be used for film, lectures, drama, music, poetry readings, student education, corporate functions and so forth. Extensive fundraising took place over the next few years culminating in the completion of a 40 seat boutique theatre and ancillary rooms in March 2013.

Support from our members, cinema-goers and many funding organisations meant we were able to purchase the latest state-of-the-art projection and sound equipment so that we can screen films in all formats – 2D / 3D DCP’s (the replacement for 35mm reels), e-cinema, art house movies, children’s features, documentary’s, DVDs etc.