Blockbuster business for small Wellington cinemas

Two of the largest movie theatres in New Zealand's film hub are closed because of last November's magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

While it's bad news for some in Wellington, it's meant that smaller cinemas are booming.

A cinema and carpark at Lower Hutt's Queensgate Shopping Centre are being torn down due to structural damage it suffered in the November 14 shake.

The Petone Lighthouse theatre says they've seen a rise in ticket sales because their nearest rival is no more.

But some residents say they're gutted they now have to travel outside the city to see the latest films.

In central Wellington a huge machine is crunching its way through another building - the car park at the Reading Cinemas complex.

It is being torn down due to quake damage, and the cinema is out of bounds while the work is done.

Some Wellingtonians have been forced to step outside their comfort zone and watch movies in a new setting, and that's been good news for local cinemas.

Doors to the Reading Cinema are expected to open by mid-March, but a decision over whether the Lower Hutt theatre will be rebuilt is still up in the air.