COVID Framework for State Cinemas Screenings @ The Suter

COVID-19 Protection Framework Guideline - State Cinemas

Download Full COVID-19 Protection Framework Guideline - State Cinemas 

COVID-19 Framework Press Release:

Kia Ora Nelson, 


In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we have been examining operations options available to us here at State Cinemas, and the Pastorius-Waller Theatre at the Suter Art Gallery, that will ensure that we can continue bringing great films and entertainment to the region in 2021 and beyond.

It has been decided, through reasonable discussion and discourse, that State Cinemas will adhere to the impending COVID Protection Framework (known as the Traffic Light System) that is to be imposed from midnight the 2nd of December.  

This means that for us to continue to operate, we will require all customers to:

Declare and prove that they have been double immunised in order to enter and view screenings at State Cinemas, and the Pastorius-Waller Theatre at the Suter Art Gallery,

  • present/show your Vaccine Pass or Valid Exemption to enter the building
  • continue to scan or sign in upon entry to either of our cinema locations,
  • and we will continue to ask people to wear masks inside our theatres as required under the COVID Protection Framework. 

This is not a decision that we have undertaken lightly.

We understand that the requirement of vaccination passports is a necessary, albeit frustrating, imposition - but it is the decision of State Cinemas to adhere to Government guidelines for the protection of State Cinemas and Stefanos staff and to ensure that we can host screenings of our films in a safe, controlled environment. 

Throughout the last two years State Cinemas has been, and continues to be, committed to taking all of the necessary steps to remain open to the public, and to protect the livelihoods of our staff and our customers. As we are an independent company, without the financial padding or backing from a franchise or parent company, we have been at risk since the beginning of the pandemic of permanently losing our ability to entertain Nelson/Tasman.


Our decision to adopt the Traffic Light System will provide us with reasonable assurance that we can continue to “keep the movies rolling” even as COVID presents itself in Nelson - as it is likely to do so - and to minimise the potential for State Cinemas to become a “hot spot” of COVID transmission and activity.  

This will mean a few structural changes in our operations, that will come into effect from the 3rd of December: 

  1. All ticket sales will be processed under the condition and understanding that all ticket holders/attendees over the age of 12 must have a valid, authentic, COVID-19 Vaccine Passport or Valid Medical Exemption to enter either State Cinemas or the Pastorius Waller Theatre at the Suter Art Gallery.
  2. All tickets purchased online or in store to any screening at State Cinemas, or the Pastorius Waller Theatre at the Suter Art Gallery, will be subject to cancellation without refunds should the ticket holder fail to present a valid COVID-19 Vaccine Passport or Valid Medical Exemption upon entry.
  3. We will have dedicated members of staff stationed at the entrance to State Cinemas verifying COVID vaccine passports for all members of the public over the age of 12 wishing to enter the building.
  4. We will refuse entry to those who cannot produce a verified COVID-19 Vaccine Passport - even if they hold a ticket to a current screening of any film.
  5. We will require Stefanos customers to exit through their own exit door (down the stairwell to Trafalgar Street), leaving the State Cinemas exit clear for State Cinemas customers only.
  6. We will require members of the public to continue to wear facial masks at every screening when the Framework requires it - except where they can sensibly remove them to enjoy food or beverages. We will ask that once customers have finished their food/drink, that they place the mask back on at the soonest convenience. 


We understand that this transitional time will be difficult for us all, but we are hopeful that these restrictions will continue to protect our community as we progress through this pandemic. 

All of us at State Cinemas want to thank each and every movie-goer from the Nelson/Tasman public, and beyond, for their continued support through 2020 to today. Without your support, understanding, and outstanding loyalty - we could not have made it this far. While we will be disappointed not to be able to share our venue with the entirety of the community, we are humbled by and grateful for those of you who continue to visit (and be entertained) by us, through uncertainty, closures, reopenings, and heightening restrictions. 

We ask for your continued patience and understanding while we navigate these new restrictions together, and please know that we are doing all that we can to ensure that the new restrictions are as simple to transition into as possible. 

On behalf of the entire State Cinemas Team,

Ngā mihi nui, and thank you, Nelson.