Whether you’re a local or utterly new to Auckland, navigating and integrating yourself into the city’s expansive arts scene can be an extremely daunting task. To take some of the pressure off we’ve compiled a list of recommendations guaranteed to have you gallery-hopping, film-critiquing and moving through the city like the cultured jaffa you’re destined to be.
Academy Cinemas: Host of the Auckland New Zealand Film Society club, Academy Cinema offers more than just the latest blockbusters. Over time, regulars of this institution will find themselves becoming purveyors of good cinema, with an in-depth education in film to back up their refined tastes. Dip your toe in on their $5 Wednesdays for a budget-friendly outing.
The Capitol Cinema: The character-filled Capitol, conveniently located on Dominion Road, is another cinema that deserves a little extra recognition. Showcasing a wide variety of films, from blockbusters to classics, the Capitol caters to all cinephiles. Be sure to block out the last Friday of each month for the Capitol’s $10 Friday Night Frights showings.
The Vic Devonport: Known for its intimate setting and lush interior, The Vic is a mainstay for North Shore Dwellers. Showcasing an array of films, The Vic is also host to the Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadowcast plays. Full of fun and camp delights it would be a crime to miss out on The Vic!
Artspace: This contemporary gallery focused on platforming visual art with civic intent is located in the heart of Karangahape Road. If you’re a gallery-perusing beginner, try starting out with one of their Thursday tours happening from 5 pm – 6 pm weekly. It’s a great way to get to know the art intimately and satiate your desire for a much-needed culture fix.
Gus Fisher Gallery: Another contemporary gallery showcasing the work of local and international artists alike, the Gus Fisher gallery has earned a name for itself due to its innovative approach to curation. The gallery boasts an extensive program, with performances, screenings, workshops and panels running alongside their exhibitions. Head over before the sixth of May to experience their latest installation ‘The Sentiment of Flowers,’ exploring the idea of queer ecologies.
Anna Miles Gallery: The Anna Miles gallery is a must-see destination for art lovers looking for something a little bit different. Located on Upper Queen Street, this gallery showcases vibrant and unique art across a spectrum of different mediums. Be sure not to miss Cat Fook’s exhibition ‘Terrabella’ which opens on the 18th of February.
Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki: Tucked below Albert Park is the city’s Art Gallery. With a plethora of revolving exhibitions and showcases, the gallery hosts something for everyone and any one. Recently, the gallery has chosen to include a ‘Queer History’ blurb next to prominent pieces of LGBTQ+ significance. Withover three floors of exhibitions and a cafe, one could easily spend the whole day here. Most exhibitions are free and the gallery is open everyday, except Christmas.
Basement Theatre: As a theatre company committed to breaking down barriers, Basement provides a platform for independent creatives from all walks of life to share their craft with local theatre enthusiasts. Their lineup for February proves to be as fascinating as ever, with shows such as ‘Concerning the UFO Sighting Outside Mt Roskill, Auckland’ and ‘Tea with Terrorists’ hitting the venue later this month.
If you’re passionate about creating as well as consuming, Basement has you covered too. Peruse the ‘For Artists’ section of their website to see which of the opportunities and artist development programs they have on offer might apply to you.
Q Theatre: Boasting the tagline “Auckland’s home of independent performing arts,” Q Theatre is another venue dedicated to the platforming of New Zealand’s best and brightest independent artists. Like Basement, their February shows are all equally unmissable, however, be very sure not to skip Tusiata Avia’s ‘The Savage Coloniser Show’ coming to Q from the ninth of March. It’s no exaggeration to say you should be planning your month around this.