Movie-loving brothers create luxury cinema experience in Rangiora

Seating 94 film fans with built in trays for drinks and nibbles, Town Hall Cinemas has completed its renovation on cinema three and other areas of the business’ building.

The candy bar and foyer has been given a makeover, with bottled soft drinks ruled out and soda drinks now being provided on tap. A selection of Canterbury Cheesemongers’ cheeses are now available too.

The updated cinema has a new screen, acoustics, furniture, and purple and blue hues inspired by the night sky. The new venue allows Town Hall Cinemas to host more events, like special screenings for seniors and girls’ nights.

Brothers Julian and Jeremy Stewart have been operating the movie theatre on Rangiora’s main street for the last nine years.

“During that time we have had cultivating and loyal support from the community in Rangiora,” Jeremy said.

Their late father, Paul Stewart, who died in 2021, founded Alice in Videoland on Hereford St in Christchurch in 1985. In 1992, the store moved to the former post office building on High St and kept growing before Stewart sold it to son Jeremy about 11 years ago.

”There was an old loading bay [outside], and so I converted it into a 38-seat cinema and the rest is history,” Jeremy said.

The company expanded by taking on Town Hall Cinemas in Rangiora and Deluxe Cinemas at the Tannery in Woolston, Christchurch.

The Stewart brothers hope the new cinema will cater for people of all ages and attract visitors from across the Waimakariri district and northern parts of Christchurch.

“People have been coming here for more than 30 years, it’s generational. Now they’re bringing their kids back. The cinema remains a popular family outing,” Julian said.

The Stewart brothers said they were grateful for the support they had received from the Waimakariri District Council.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Jeremy said.

“There are not many models like this with council and private businesses, and we really value that relationship.”