New Zealand International Film Festival

Digital Cinema for the Isaac Theatre Royal

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Movie lovers across New Zealand are invited to help embed the art of cinema in the artistic hub of resurgent Christchurch. The substantial post-quake rebuild of the Isaac Theatre Royal provides the perfect opportunity to bring back a sense of occasion to movie going and celebrate the art and artists of the giant screen in Christchurch.

All that's missing is the projectors, the screen and the audio system. We're looking for your assistance in getting them there! The Christchurch City Council is backing the project with a $70,000 grant towards the estimated $280,000 costs, provided that the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) find the balance of the money before July 5.

Christchurch audiences have seen NZIFF diced up into multiplex venues since the Regent Theatre was quartered in 1995. The city has been without a fitting venue for a Gala Premiere since the electrifying first screening of Heavenly Creatures in 1994. With its 1250 seats, ample foyers and elegant proportions, the Isaac Theatre Royal has the potential to become a truly multi-purpose venue, and a much needed home for NZIFF.

We need your support

"The earthquakes have taken so much. But just sometimes there are silver linings. Let's bring the Festival into the heart of the re-imagined city. Let's make the very beautiful Isaac Theatre Royal home to the Christchurch leg of the New Zealand International Film Festival." - Gerard Smyth, Director, When a City Falls

"I can't think of a better place to give the NZIFF a home in Christchurch than the historic Isaac Theatre Royal. This is a wonderful opportunity to add something special to the new Christchurch." - Peter Young, Director, The Last Ocean

"The proposal for the Isaac Theatre Royal to be upgraded and made available as a dedicated Festival venue really warms my heart - both as a filmmaker and a film lover." - Gillian Ashurst, Director, Snakeskin

For further information on the project visit:

Isaac Theatre Royal


  • Thank You: We’re Boosted


    The NZIFF Take 2 Boosted Campaign for Christchurch has met its target with two days to run. We’re absolutely thrilled to know that we are so much closer to equipping the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch for digital cinema.

    Thank you everyone for your donations to date.

    The Boosted campaign runs until 11.59pm Friday so there is still time to support the project. If your donation was refunded from our first unsuccessful campaign and you haven’t yet had a chance to contribute please consider donating again. (And remember every donation over $5 is tax deductible).

    Check out our successful Boosted campaign here:

    Thank you from the NZIFF crew!

  • NZIFF: 10 Days to Go! And We're Nearly There


    The NZIFF Take 2 Boosted Campaign for Christchurch has only 10 days to run AND we’re almost there! Current donations have us sitting at 73% of our total target of $12,000 to equip the Isaac Theatre Royal for digital cinema.

    We’re encouraging all Film Festival fans to give the price of a movie ticket for Christchurch. Thank you to everyone who has donated to date. We’re so close that our dream of a majestic Festival venue like the mighty Civic in Auckland, Embassy Theatre in Wellington and the gorgeous Regent Theatre Dunedin.

    Please share the campaign link with friends and family to help us reach that target. 

  • We're Nearly There for Christchurch


    Our rebooted Boosted campaign is just one strand in a major funding drive to equip Christchurch’s resurgent Isaac Theatre Royal for digital cinema. The good news is that we are closing in on our target. On the Boosted front we’re 57% of the way towards the $12,000 we are seeking from public donations.  

    Check out our progress here.

    For the price of a movie ticket we can each help bridge the funding hap to embed the art of cinema back into the artistic hub of Christchurch. In fact, if every reader of this newsletter gave one dollar each we would reach our target tomorrow. We encourage you to give at least $5 though and qualify for tax deduction. 

    Please share this link with friends and family.

  • Take 2: NZIFF Boosted Campaign link


    NZIFF's new Boosted Campaign is now live. 

    Please share this link with friends and family to help equip the Isaac Theatre Royal for Digital Cinema: 


  • Take 2: NZIFF relaunches Boosted Campaign


    Relaunching the NZIFF Boosted Campaign for Christchurch: A smaller fundraising target to get us across the line


    Having secured the majority of our fundraising amount through successful funding applications we are now relaunching our Boosted campaign today with a smaller budget. Donate to our Boosted campaign here.

    Our first fundraising campaign through Boosted raised $16,000 in public donations but this amount was refunded to the donors like yourself as we were unable to reach our ambitious target of $40,000 within the timeframe.

    An achievable target - $12,000 in public donations for the Isaac Theatre Royal

    If successful, it will go towards the project cost of getting state-of-the-art projectors, screens and audio systems for the Isaac Theatre Royal (ITR) in Christchurch.

    The ITR rebuild is scheduled for completion in 2014. If equipped for film it will become a multipurpose venue like that found in Auckland (Civic Theatre), Wellington (Embassy Theatre) and Dunedin (Regent Theatre). Read more about the fundraising campaign on our website.


    Boosted, an online donation website established by The Arts Foundation, allows for tax deductions on any donation over $5.

    Take 2: NZIFF relaunches Boosted Campaign
  • We appreciate your support!


    Thank you for contributing to our Boosted campaign. Sadly we did not reach our target of $40,000 but we would like to thank all donors, update you on our overall campaign  and provide you with alternative donation options.

    Since we launched our Boosted campaign, we have been notified of the following successful funding applications towards the cause:

    ·         The Trust Community Foundation for $15,000

    ·         The Southern Trust for $30,000

    ·         Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Trust for $12,000

    We have been also been given an extension on the conditional $70,000 Christchurch City Council funding. We now have until the end of October to raise the balance of funds (we have $127,000 and require a further $153,000).


    If you would still like to see your Boosted donation put towards this worthwhile cause, you can donate directly to NZIFF  – we are a charitable trust and donations over $5 are tax deductible. Phone or email us for donation options via credit card or cheque: 04 385 0162 /  

  • Only 7 days left on the campaign!


    Wellwishers of NZIFF (thank you Tim Baird and Jim Rush) have kept us updated on the progress of the Isaac Theatre Royal rebuild. These photos show that the rebuild seems to be on track for the opening next year. 

    With 7 days to go, the clock is ticking on us reaching our goal of $40,000 for DCP facilities at the rebuilt Isaac Theatre Royal. Tell your friends about our fundraising campaign and help spread the word!

    Only 7 days left on the campaign!
  • A Boost For The Weekend



    We end this week on a high with a $12,000 grant from the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Trust. Together with our current fundraising efforts on Boosted, we have raised $135,849 towards our project cost of $280,000.

  • Making the Theatre Come to Life Again


    Chief executive Neil Cox talks to Radio New Zealand on how our fundraising efforts can enable the historic Isaac Theatre Royal to host big film events when it reopens next year.

    Click here to listen

  • Successful Funding Grants


    We are pleased to advise that that project has been approved for a grant for The Trust Community Foundation for $15,000 and one from The Southern Trust for $30,000. This brings our total raised to $115,000 towards the $280,000 costs of the project.





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