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I went to the movies in my pyjamas to assert my rights as a New Zealander

How did Hawera, a town of under 12,000 people with one cinema, dictate the first movie-dresscode in the country? Sophia Romanos took to the movies of Auckland to see what you can get away with

Queen Street

The smell of three-day-old buttery goodness in a hive of tourists told me it was peak hour on a Friday night. You know that kid at high school who wore the brown roman sandals when everyone else had black? Yeah, I felt like that. I didn’t spot any other pjs or slob clothes. Even people in the nearby Carl's Jr were dressed like Jacinda on a surprise tour.

Eye contact was expected and received: “Nice costume, bud.” If I wasn’t dressed like I was in Donnie Darko I might have felt good about this level of attention. Cruising to my seat, I slid past two guys and received a “Nice onesie by the way,” as I passed. If this chat is what it’s like wearing pyjamas in public then I’m sorry Taranaki, but I’d like to do this more often.

If New Zealand was a person, they’d have a broken jandal held together by a bread clip and $10 Warehouse trackies as their pjs. I was essentially paying tribute to this cultural norm and asserting my rights - I just happened to be comfy while doing it.


I had imagined that this Newmarket cinema would have an artsy-fartsy older demographic. I was right. Three-quarter white pants and Birkenstocks were in full swing and I was gawked at by everyone over 50.

Ticket seller response: Either a silent scream for help or a yawn. Nope, that was definitely a yawn.

Either we’re a more passive bunch than we care to admit, or no one actually gives a toss. Like in Fight Club when Brad Pitt’s cruising for a bruising, I was hanging out for someone to say ANYTHING. Speak! I dare you. Everyone walked past with little interest. Unless of course you count eyebrows that raised the roof higher than Bar 101’s disco raves.


After missing the bus (twice) for the sake of a half-priced Starbucks and a taco, I arrived at Westgate Event cinemas. As a born Wellingtonian, I don’t know much about Auckland, but I was promised this was the more relaxed of the three. In true Kiwi spirit, I spied trackies and jandals in high supply but sadly no pyjamas to answer my mating call.

I began to forget I looked slightly feral. No one was fazed.

I approached the ticket stand and received an “Excuse me but,” This was it! I was going to be turned away. Wetting my onesie watching Annabelle 3 didn’t really appeal to me anyway. Now I’d be able to unleash my spiel on why this is the equivalent of the Free the Nipple movement to New Zealand pyjama culture. “You can’t take food in here.” Oh wait. Okay. I introduced my taco to the bin and bought my ticket. New Zealand priorities man.

Overall Response:

Total negative comments? None.

Total direct comments? Two.

Total eyebrow-raises, laughs, smiles and side-eyes? Trillions.


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