Tips A Night at the Movies

All Wellington cinemas offer discounted tickets for daytime and Tuesday-night screenings. Students and seniors also get a discount. Look in the newspapers for schedules. Try the Embassy Theatre, 10 Kent Terrace (© 04/3847657), with a giant screen and a new sound system; Hoyts Cinemas, which has two multiscreen complexes in Manners Mall and Manners Street; or Rialto Cinemas, Cable Street and Jervois Quay (® 04/385-1864), a three-theater complex. Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place (© 04/384-4488), is the city's oldest cinema and has cheap nights on Mondays. Penthouse Cinema & Café, 205 Ohiro Rd., Brooklyn (® 04/384-3157), is the city's only suburban theatre and draws a loyal local crowd.

anyone over 25 who has outgrown the vomiting-in-the-street trick need only look around for a place that suits his or her mood.

The "in" places for the older crowd (that's 30-plus) are always changing but you'll be safe if you start with Concrete, on Cable Car Lane (p. 268), which turns into a trendy cocktail bar Thursday through Saturday nights; and The Cell, one of those oh-so-secretly-located places that everyone talks about and no one knows where to find. But if you can get yourself to the also-trendy Zibibbo, on Lower Taranaki Street (® 04/385-6550), The Cell is tucked away down an alley beside it. It is actually the old police cells, and the atmosphere is dark and moody with lots of wine and a small amount of food. The classy little CO2 Champagne Bar, 28 Blair St. (® 04/384-1064), is the only pure champagne bar in the Southern Hemisphere, according to the owner. Fine bubbles and top marks all around. Just across the road is The Opera (® 04/382-8654), which attracts a good mixed crowd and stays open late with regular live music and dancing. Down the street is the very gloomy, very cool, and very sexy Q. Bar, upstairs at 26C Courtenay Place (® 04/384-4709).

For dancing, it's definitely Tatou, 22 Cambridge Terrace (® 04/384-3112), open Thursday through Saturday from 10pm. To be considered really cool, emerge from here at 7am in time for breakfast. Judder Bar, 7-21 Allen St. (® 04/ 385-2438), is also for the energetic. The techno music and dark interior tend to attract a younger crowd.

Molly Malones, Taranaki Street and Courtenay Place (® 04/384-2896), is the biggest and busiest Irish bar in town, with live music every weekend. The Grand, 69-71 Courtenay Place (® 04/801-7800), is a three-story affair popular with backpackers. It's cheaper than many of the smarter bars, but there's evidence of a booze-barn atmosphere, in my view. Also in this area is the hugely popular Coyote, 63 Courtenay Place (® 04/385-6665), which attracts a mixed and generally rowdy crowd.

At the other end of town, Shed 5, Queens Wharf (® 04/499-9069), is the Friday-night meeting spot for the business crowd. Diva, 37 Dixon St. (® 04/ 385-2987), is favored by those looking for a quiet start to the evening, as is Paris, 132 Lambton Quay (® 04/472-4732).

There are also interesting bar and dance choices in the Cuba and Willis streets area, which tend to be a bit less concerned with fashion and making an appearance.

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