Witnesses estimated the crowd of drunken Santas numbered about 50, and said that they rushed in through the front door of Hoyts Cinema in Christchurch, New Zealand, and began ripping down movie posters and smashing things.
"They were all dressed as Santa and shouting 'Ho f___ing ho'," said Kate Gorman, who was waiting to see the film "Enchanted" with her two young children when the Kringle onslaught began. Gorman said her children were confused by the event. "They asked me, 'Are they Santa's helpers gone crazy?' and I said 'No, they are just idiots.'"
Police were called to the scene but the Santas had already fled. Theater manager Derek Rive called the attackers "hooligans." "How often do a bunch of Santas just go and wreak havoc?" he asked.
More often than you might think. For example, in one incident that I reported on in 2005, another group of drunken Kiwi Santas went rampaging through Auckland. Some threw beer bottles, others reportedly robbed a convenience store, and one climbed the mooring line of a cruise ship. The New Zealand groups do not appear to be affiliated with the main Santarchy movement, which says that it is a peaceful organization that exists only to have fun and spread holiday cheer.