The only theatre in Kaipara could close unless more people start going to the cinema.
The Anzac Theatre in Dargaville— like all cinemas throughout New Zealand— has been hard hit by Covid and, although numbers have picked up slightly this summer, it is not enough to ensure its ongoing viability.
Manager Vernon Woods said sales were down between 40 and 50 per cent and the situation was critical.
"In the early stages of Covid, there was uncertainty and people were cautious but the main effect was people got out of the habit of coming to the cinema.
"There was also a lack of blockbuster films being released. They kept being pushed back in the United States and Europe. It's a community-owned theatre and our appeal is especially to locals to come and support their own cinema," Woods said.
In 2016, the cinema screened The Hunt for the Wilderpeople 22 sessions in a row but has had just one full house since lockdown.
Woods said full-house sessions were possible during school and public holidays.
The cinema opened about eight years ago and has a capacity of 62.
It runs four films in the weekend, three on Wednesday and Friday, and two on Thursday.
"We are very much a community-owned theatre and we don't really make a profit but whatever money we make is ploughed back into the community. We also do a certain amount of work for the community like screenings for charity," he said.
Movies running now are Dawn Raid, Promising Young Woman, A Call to Spy, The Marksman, Penguin Bloom, The Dry, Dragon Rider, and The Croods: A New Age.
Woods said The Marksman, Penguin Bloom, and The Dry were getting a good reception.
Tickets cost $15 for adults, $12.50 for students and seniors, child is $8.50. Under-3s are free.
Tickets can be purchased at the cinema, at www.anzactheatre.co.nz, or by calling (09) 4398997.