Waterfront Theatre

On March 1, 2012 by Eye on Auckland

New Theatre on Waterfront

All I can say is – stunning, much needed and please support this campaign. Auckland Theatre Company today launched the website and plans for their swanky new theatre. The Coming of Age campaign will hopefully help build a theatre in the Wynyard Quarter – Auckland’s exciting new business and entertainment district. The redevelopment of the quarter has breathed new life into this historic area and opened a new side of Auckland for its residents and visitors. The new theatre will add an extra dimension to the waterfront and substantially contribute to the ‘after five economy’. Aucklanders and visitors will be able to enjoy dinner, a show, a stroll along the waterfront and much more, all within easy reach of the CBD. Auckland lacks the diversity of venues needed to become a leading creative and cultural hub. The new waterfront theatre will provide a state-of-the art 600-seat space for theatre and dance. It will complement Q on Queen Street, providing a smaller, flexible theatre space, and THE EDGE® providing a host of venues for concerts and theatre. Along with the newly-renovated Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland can truly become a city proud of its cultural infrastructure. As well as being a fantastic asset for Auckland, the benefits of the theatre will also be experienced by New Zealand as a whole. A better arts infrastructure in Auckland will attract more international talent and provide a venue for touring national companies.

A 600-seat theatre has been identified the single greatest priority for Auckland’s performing arts sector. Auckland Theatre Company has launched the Coming of Age campaign to raise the money to build a theatre to meet this need. Auckland Theatre Company will be the anchor tenant, with the new waterfront theatre available for use by national and international theatre, dance and opera companies including:

Royal New Zealand Ballet
Black Grace Dance Company
Auckland Festival
NBR New Zealand Opera

Pledges worth $16.5 million have been made to the project, of the $35 million needed to build the theatre. ASB has also pledged a further $6 million towards shared building costs. Applications have also been submitted to a number of major trusts and foundations, and an application will also be submitted to NZ Lottery Grants Board in due course. Sponsorship for the project is being sought from businesses (both large and small). The Coming of Age public campaign is running alongside the corporate campaign and grant applications. If you are interested in making a donation, please click here. If you would like to become part of the theatre’s Founders’ Club by making a significant capital contribution, please contact Linden Tierney on 09 309 0390 ext. 272. The new waterfront theatre needs the public’s continued support and advocacy for the project. Please visit their Get Involved page for information on how you can voice your support. The majority of the funding needs to be pledged by May in order to secure Auckland Council’s $10 million commitment, which is vital to the success of the project. It is expected ground will be broken in August/September 2012, commencing an 18 month build process. The current projection for the opening of the new waterfront theatre is early 2014.

Day time view from Halsey Street.

Night time view from Halsey Street.

Courtyard and Lane view with ASB HQ on the left.

View from Madden Street looking towards Halsey Street.

18 Responses to “Waterfront Theatre”

  • Suffrage

    Awesome, I will definitely be donating towards this project.

  • Geoff

    I love the night time render, the colour and the industrial feel. It will fit in well on the Waterfront. Count me in, I will definitely be donating.

  • little_miss_muffet

    I just splurged on a donation. Can’t wait to see the first show at Waterfront theatre. Exciting times for Auckland!

  • Karumba

    I love it and will definitely be making a donation.

  • Sarah

    What a great project! I’ve already donated.

  • Matt

    I loooooooove it. Great place for it too.

  • AbelTasman

    I am a big fan but wouldn’t it be better if they were in the Aotea Quarter ?

    • Geoff Houtman

      Exactly. Why create a Cultural Hub/ Theatre district then encourage a new theatre nowhere near it? Seems counter-intuitive to me.

      Would rather then money went into refurbing the St James or Mercury.

      Seems a little like we’re subsidising ASB’s big new build…

  • @ AbelTasman, good point, there is a district of performing arts around there. Close to the art gallery precint, the town hall,Q and The Edge. It will split a bit of traffic off, but there perhaps isn’t any space in the area for a 600 seat theatre.

    The intention is fantastic, a great assest for the cultural development of the city. Some parts of the design proposal seem a bit dull – like the last image shows, and also the Fin is back in the form of yellow drapes!

  • Gian

    what about refurbishing the st james in queen st instead?

    There’s already the Civic, the ASB (undergoing refurbishment), and the Q around it

  • wayno

    Love it – will be donating for sure!

  • Bryce

    Typical Auckland. Hotch potch of buildings and areas all over the city. I see that Auckland Council is putting in $10m? What about rebuilding the St James? If this theatre proceeds I cannot see , nor would I support, council finding the cash to rebuild the St James as well. Pity.

  • Carlos

    Donated some money yesterday, this has got to happen.

  • The Eye

    I think that many of you are looking at this from the wrong angle:

    Firstly, a theatre district doesn’t depend on the amount of Theatre’s in the area, one theatre less isn’t gong to change the fact that the Aotea Quarter is and will always be a Theatre District.

    Secondly, there are theatre’s scattered throughout Auckland’s suburbs, why should this be any different ?

    Thirdly, I too would love to see The St James Theatre restored to it’s former glory but The Auckland Theatre Company is thinking about the future and the St James isn’t going to be a worthwhile option for them – good on them for looking towards the future. I also don’t think that there is the money or the determination to restore it, not yet anyways.

    Fourthly – Wynyard Quarter is going to develop into a “Power Block” .. a self-sustaining urban village where you work, live and play. It is also known as an “Activity Centre”. This is what most European neighbourhoods were like in the good old days. There is room for a theatre , a museum and even a sports events centre – it fits in with the model of creating a liveable city. I personally feel that The Waterfront Theatre is perfect for Wynyard Quarter.

  • wayno

    I see the ASB has pledged $5 million this week – great. Still some way to go though.

  • Johno

    The Waterfront theatre project with it’s 600 seat is perfect for a theatre company. Goes someway to heal the damage done by the Council giving the ‘all clear’ for the demolition of His Majesty’s.
    Yes, the St James must be restored. BUT ..sorry to be negative…unless the land behind the present inadaquate raked stage is acquired it is not really a viable proposition theatrically. It is a big theatre, around 1600 seats? and the Civic – I’m guessing if not bigger – hard work to fill unless it is a “top” musical.
    Can Auckland sustain two big “musical’ theatres?
    Both Melbourne and Sydney can – one can but hope!

  • Johno

    The St James is alive and well – if you don’t believe me ‘google’ up

  • Johno

    sorry – Civic Theatre Newcastle. Same architect – more or less same plans!!

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