A GANG of drunk Santas wreaked havoc in a New Zealand cinema this weekend, pushing families out of the way, ripping down posters and shouting "ho, f*****g ho".

The crowd, thought to be students, ran into the Hoyts cinema in the CBD of the South Island city of Christchurch on Saturday afternoon, the Press newspaper reported.

Kate Gorman, 35, was waiting to see "Enchanted" with her two young children.

"At least 50 drunk idiots dressed up like Santa came in through the main door," she said. "They were kicking things over, ripping down posters and smashing everything in sight."

"They were all dressed as Santa and shouting 'ho f*****g ho'," she told the paper.

Her children, Gabriella, 6, and Jackson, 7, had been confused by the incident, she said.

"They asked me, 'are they Santa's helpers gone crazy?' and I said `no, they are just idiots'.

The cinema was evacuated for 30 minutes while the gang was dealt with. Police said there had been no arrests.