Entertainment

The Taranaki cinema taking a stand against pyjamas

Hawera cinemas: the last refuge of formal dressing in darkened rooms where no one is looking at you.

By Alex Blackwood

It has come to our attention that Taranaki movie-goers have been eating plenty of carrots and have developed cat-like vision. Why else would a humble small-town movie house have taken such drastic action as to introduce a dress-code for those wishing to sit in silence in the dark and stare intently at something that is certainly not their fellow movie-goers?

Taranaki's Hawera cinema has introduced a ban on pyjamas, onesies and dirty boots.

The ban was introduced by cinema manager Kirsty Bourke after a long-waged war against gumboots and a new trend for people attending the cinema in sleepwear.

Dirty boots ban? Fine. Leave them at the door or in your car - that is a legitimate problem that someone will have to clean up. But pyjamas? Let me be comfortable in public just this once, damn it.

The rationale for the ban is that pyjama-clad attendees do not create the "vibe or environment we want to encourage here at Hawera Cinemas".

Reactions to the Facebook post announcement have been mixed.

"Surely it is not such a big deal to get dressed each day? Pyjamas are not clothes," said one.

Another would-be viewer asked "what kind of unbalanced person is upset by what someone chooses to wear?! ... We now have a dress code to sit comfortably in DARKNESS and watch a film."

Here at Now To Love, we agree with the latter commenter - a member of our team has once arrived at the cinema in regular clothing, before changing into pyjamas for the movie. Wearing pyjamas to a movie is not, to us, a matter of not having gotten dressed, but a matter of living our best lives and choosing the most comfortable clothes to view a movie in.

A picture of a movie-goer wearing pyjamas in the dark.
A picture of a movie-goer wearing pyjamas in the dark.

Furthermore, to us, a cinema dress-code demonstrates a basic lack of understanding of the dynamic, or, "vibe" if you will, of a good cinema; You're snuggled down in the dark, munching away on popcorn and slurping at your frozen coke, staring at the screen and elbowing your friend beside you in the good bits. Nowhere in our mental-cinema-vibe-handbooks does it state that you need to look fancy. It isn't you that is meant to be looked at. It is the screen. You are the viewer. Not the viewed. That is the whole point.

The novelty and added-comfort of watching a movie in your PJs can only enhance that.

"It's amazing people need to be told to get dressed before going out. Super market needs the same notice," said one commenter.

Rihanna attending the *Battleship* Japan Premiere in pyjamas.
Rihanna attending the Battleship Japan Premiere in pyjamas.

"Restaurants and clubs have always had dress codes so why not cinemas?" Kirsty asks. And we have an answer for her: you go to a club or restaurant to be looked at and to look at other people in visual, social environments. You go to a cinema to look at a movie. Whether you are looking into another universe, another time or another country, you are not there to look at, judge, or police, other people's clothing.

In any case, we have a message to the brains behind this comfort-free regime: Let people enjoy things that don't hurt anyone, Kirsty.

But at the end of the day, she is the boss of that particular movie-house and is entitled to run it how she wants. So here are some links to articles that list pyjama-friendly movies that you can watch on Netflix wearing pyjama-onsies and muddy boots till your heart is content: