Auckland's Civic Theatre to open for public tours

The 2300 seat Civic Theatre will be open for public tours.
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The 2300 seat Civic Theatre will be open for public tours.

The secrets and nostalgia of the Civic Theatre are set to be revealed with tours being offered to the public.

The historic and prestigious building in downtown Auckland will be open to 45 minute guided tours that'll give people a chance to explore the building's 88-year history.

Opening in 1929, the Civic's eastern styled design and artwork was originally intended to make people feel as if they had escaped Auckland to a foreign land.

Opened in 1929, the building had a $42 million refurbishment in the 1990s.
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Opened in 1929, the building had a $42 million refurbishment in the 1990s.

Auckland Live's Bryce Gibson, who is set to become a Civic guide, said he fell in love with the building when he first visited the theatre to see the Jungle Book in 1969.

"I've always been fascinated by the building. People see it and they don't understand why it looks like it did, how it evolved and its history," Gibson said.

"Those are things that I've picked up, been interested in and I'd like to share with people."

Peter Dobson, Bryce Gibson and James Manning of Auckland Live will be guiding Civic Theatre tours.
HUGH COLLINS/FAIRFAX NZ

Peter Dobson, Bryce Gibson and James Manning of Auckland Live will be guiding Civic Theatre tours.

Gibson said the Civic had always been a place that could transport people from a rainy Auckland day into a "neon-lit wonderland".

The 2300 seat theatre had a $42 million restoration in the late 1990s.

The tour would grant access to parts of the theatre usually reserved for performers and technicians.

Auckland Live director Robbie McCrae said demand for the tours has been gradually growing.

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"We always knew The Civic was much-loved by Aucklanders, but one-off tours last summer showed the public's interest in The Civic was overwhelming," he said.

"The Civic has been a part of some of the city's most exciting and defining moments and to be able to share such a rich resource with residents and visitors alike is a privilege."

 

 - Stuff

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