Theatre Royal back in view

Containers finally gone from historic building

Last updated 07:30 13/01/2014
Isaac Theatre Royal
Dean Kozanic/Fairfax NZ
UNVEILING: Containers that have been protecting the facade of the Theatre Royal in Gloucester St are being removed as the project progresses.
Isaac Theatre Royal
John Kirk-Anderson/Fairfax NZ
FACADE: The front of Isaac Theatre Royal is stable, theatre chief executive Neil Cox said.

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For the first time in almost a year the facade of Christchurch's historic Isaac Theatre Royal can be seen again.

Protective shipping containers, which helped prop up the theatre, were slowly taken down on Saturday as part of the ongoing $30 million rebuild.

"It's always nice to get containers down so at least people can see what is going on behind it," said theatre chief executive Neil Cox. The trusses of the theatre, which will form the roof, were put in place in December and were described as a major milestone in its development.

Cox said the facade was stable and the original window frames were also back in place.

"It is starting to look like a real building again."

Initially, the theatre hoped to put some visual element on the outside of the containers but it was too expensive, Cox said yesterday.

He said the building needed to be totally enclosed before the theatre's painted dome, which is being worked on by Italian specialists, could be put back in place.

Cox said a mid-year opening was optimistic and it was likely the theatre would be operating again in the last quarter of the year.

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- The Press

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