St. James Theatre
77 Courtney Place,
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Opened as the His Majesty’s Theatre in 1912, it was built for vaudeville and later films were introduced. At the time, it was the largest theatre in Australasia with 2,355 seats. Designed in a splendid Edwardian Baroque style by noted theatre architect Henry Eli White, seating was provided in orchestra, dress circle and balcony levels. There are six boxes on each side of the proscenium.
It was re-named St. James Theatre when it went over to full time cinema use when talkies were introduced. Operated from 1945 by Kerridge-Odeon, it was faced with demolition in the 1980’s. The theatre was saved and purchased by the city council through a charitable trust.
A full restoration was carried out in 1998, and the building is recognised by New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category 1 building.
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