Academy Cinemas is a boutique cinema right in the heart of Auckland City. They’re located just under the public library and you might miss them if you don’t go to the library. They show a small selection of movies including biopics, festival, arty and indie. Academy Cinemas serve Stoke craft beer, organic juices, boutique wines, Kokako Coffee and Kapiti Ice cream.
On Wednesdays, thanks to Vice, movies are $5 all day. Make sure you book ahead as this is proving to be quite popular. Tickets are usually $15.50 which is still cheaper than other cinemas who usually charge around $20. Academy Cinemas have an active Facebook page here if you would like to keep up to date with their goings on.
Watch and Eat Combo
I love a good dinner and movie combo and I’ve blogged about food and movie pairings before. Dinner and a movie can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
These are my suggestions on movie and dinner combos that won’t break the bank. All restaurants are within walking distance of the cinema (I’ve provided walking times) and the movies are currently showing at Academy. Combos range for super budget $25 (movie with BYO snacks*) to $92 (movie with dinner, dessert and beer) and everything in-between.
Please note, these movies are not specifically foodie movies, but they may have food scenes in them.
Set in Los Angeles, Lou Bloom is a desperate, driven and loathsome man. Without giving away too much, there are some Mexican-food scenes in the movie. I would recommend a margaritas with chips and salsa as they do in the movie, but hopefully your date is more enjoyable!
I would pair this movie with dinner and margaritas for two at Mexico, Britomart which is a 13 minute walk away. Order their Salsa Roja with house made corn chips ($6), a couple of tacos ($6 each) and their famous free range fried chicken ($15) washed down with a carafe of their Mexico City Margarita ($20). Total cost for dinner and a movie for two: $63
This is not a foodie movie but there is a roast chicken mentioned and of course, a chicken is a bird. To get into the spirit of the movie, you might want to pick up a bottle of hard liquor to swig on the way home (not counted on my costings).
Box of Bird, 21 Elliot Street is a 4 minute walk away. A satellite store of Bird On A Wire in Ponsonby, where you can enjoy free range rotisserie chicken in sandwiches or a range of salads.
Order flavoured chicken rolls ($10 each) and a fresh juice ($6.50 each). I’d recommend their Jerk Chicken. I tried this a couple months back at Splore and it was great. Also, it suits the movie because the main character is a real jerk. Total cost for dinner and a movie for two: $43
Alternatively, if you are organised, you can pre-order a free range rotisserie chicken. Chickens are on a pre-order or first-come first-served basis. Add a salad, you’ve got a crackin’ meal for two. Order a full chicken ($25) with a medium salad ($12). Total cost for dinner and a movie for two: $47
A chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign in 1965. Alabama is in the deep south of the US and according to historian’s MLK’s favourite foods were Southern classics, including fried chicken and corn bread or biscuits.
Bonz Cajun Kitchen is in Elliot Stables and is a 4 minute walk away. Order their Skillet Corn Bread ($6) and Southern Fried Chicken with salad ($16) and pulled pork sliders ($11) and a litre of home made sparkling lemonade ($5). Total cost for dinner and a movie for two: $48
Finding Vivian Maier
An eccentric nanny whose photography was unknown and unpublished during her lifetime, her huge archive of work has now earned a reputation as one of the world’s best street photographers. Her street photography covers Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. I would pair this with a New York style pizza.
Sal’s has various locations in the city and their Queen Street store is just 2 minutes walk away. Order a couple of pizza slices ($5 each), garlic knots ($3 for 3) and buffalo wings ($14 for 1 lb) and a couple cans of coke ($2.5 each). Queen Street Sal’s doesn’t have a liquor license but you can get a pitcher of beer at other city stores. Followed with a cookie ($3.5 each) at Moustache Milk and Cookie Bar which is just 1 minute walk away from Sal’s. Total cost for dinner and a movie for two: $49
Food is a constant theme in this movie as Cheryl hikes over 1000 miles on her own. There is a lot of hunger in this movie and some great food appreciation scenes. With such a lonely, “find-yourself-in-solace” movie, you could watch this movie solo and then dine out solo, but I think that kind of solace might be a bit too much to bear.
Cheryl: “Snapple. I’ve been dreaming of Snapple lemonade, and potato chips, any kind of potato chips.”
In the spirit of this movie, I would recommend non-perishable snacks and filling up while watching the movie. Lemonade and potato chips would be perfect. Total cost for dinner and a movie for two: $10 for tickets plus about $15 for snacks* and lemonade.
*Please note, it’s probably not legit to bring your own snacks into the cinema, so maybe keep this on the down low or um…eat in the car.
The Theory of Everything
A biopic of when British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking met his wife, fell in love and had children, received his PhD, figured out the Big Bang Theory while they dealt with his illness. There are several food scenes in this movie, which track the progression of his illness.
Jane: “If the world were all potatoes, then, easy: you could trace a precise beginning as Stephen once did. A moment of creation. Hallelujah, God lives. If you incorporate peas into the menu, then it all goes…”
Stephen: “Tits up!”
In the spirit of the movie, anything English would be suitable, washed down with a pint. Brew on Quay is a 14 minute walk away. Bangers seem fitting for the Englishman behind the Big Bang Theory. Order bangers and mash served with peas and gravy ($20 each). Dessert of Eton Mess ($11 each). They have many beers on top ($9-$11 per pint). Extra points if you go home for a cup of tea. Total cost for dinner and a movie for two: $92
I also found out that Steven Hawking’s favourite food is Chicken Jalfrezi. Chicken curry is possibly more English than bangers and mash. Chicken Jalfrezi is a chicken curry from Pakistan and can be found in Indian Restaurants. Raviz on Hobson Street is 9 minute walk away. Order the Chicken Jalfrezi ($16.90), the Lamb Jalfrezi ($17.90) a couple of paranthas ($3.50 each) and Gulab Jamun to finish. Total cost for dinner and a movie for two: $51.80
A movie about a Swedish family skiing in the French Alps. The pivotal scene in the movie happens during a meal and there are many other scenes where the characters talk over a meal. I think it would be appropriate to pair this with French food.
Torchon French Creperie in Elliot Stables is a 4 minute walk away. Order from their 2 course Pre-theatre menu, (entree+main, or main+dessert). French onion soup, Coq Au Vin, Lemon and sugar crêpe ($23.50 per person). Enjoy with a couple of glasses of French wine ($9-11 per glass). Total cost for dinner and a movie for two: $77
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