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do you like watching movies on the big screen or prefer at-home viewing?

going to the cinema is definitely an enjoyable past-time for me.  and it’s not just because the movie theatre popcorn tastes so good :)  something about being in the dark with strangers, and for that 90-120 minutes, we are all sharing an experience together.  laughing is more contagious in a crowd, and tension filled moments are simultaneously more excruciating and exhilarating (suspense and horror films are not usually my cup of tea).

well, there exists a really cool cinema where the seats are all old sofas and chairs (and there’s even an old classic car you can sit in!).  you can buy food and eat it before, during or after the movie (i highly recommend the really big fresh-baked cookies and homemade ice cream).  drinks (of the alcoholic variety or not) are also allowed.  it’s like bringing in some of the comforts of home, but retaining the experience of movie going!

the only drawback?  this cinema that i speak of is over 14,700 kms and an 18 hour time difference away from my home…

that’s right ladies and gents.  the town of Wanaka, New Zealand is home to the Paradiso, possibly my favourite movie theatre ever.

Wanaka is about a 1.5 hour drive from New Zealand’s (and possibly the world’s) adventure capital – Queenstown in the South Island.  situated on a lake named (yes, you guessed it…) Lake Wanaka, it’s a quiet town, and worth the stop!

hikes to be had, pretty views, the opportunity to go skydiving (ok, that’s not unique to Wanaka, there’s many places in NZ for that!), partake in water related sports, enjoy some good coffee, and visit Puzzling World (for its rooms with optical illusions, puzzles you can attempt to solve, and outdoor maze)…Wanaka is a lovely place.  but back on topic…

Paradiso is a cinema, cafe and bar, and something about seeing a film there made me feel like i had walked back to a really great period of time (maybe a period of time that never existed, but should have!).  it made movie going a very memorable experience, and left me wanting more.

if you’re ever in that area of the world, check out Wanaka and its cool little theatre!

i had heard a small town in Western Australia was considering the idea of their very own version of the Paradiso.  i think it’s a fabulous idea and wondered why more places wouldn’t pursue it.  if anyone knows of any other cinemas with this concept closer to home (aka North America, or better yet, Canada), please share!