Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Revamped James Hay Theatre to host performances from chamber music to rock

Revamped James Hay Theatre to host performances from chamber music to rock
July 25, 2015

Plans for the redevelopment of the James Hay Theatre in the rebuilt Christchurch Town Hall envisage it being able to switch between hosting performances as wide-ranging chamber music seating, rock concerts and dance music.

The theatre, which is being overhauled as part of the three-year restoration of the earthquake-damaged Town Hall, will feature retractable sloped seating in the stalls enabling the venue to be transformed from a fully-seated theatre for chamber music to a mosh pit with standing space for 1,000 people.

Acoustics, sight lines and atmosphere will be improved by narrowing the auditorium, reducing the number of seats from 1,000 to 600, adding box seats, tweaking the upper tier, moving the stage forward and installing sound reflection panels. Moving the stage forward will create a more intimate atmosphere in the theatre and make more room for backstage facilities.

The plans have been cautiously welcomed by Christchurch’s arts community, who previously had been critical of the James Hay's poor acoustics, atmosphere and backstage facilities. Concert promoters said the revamped venue could mean more niche music acts add Christchurch to their New Zealand tours.

The work will come within the $127.5 million budget to restore and strengthen the Town Hall.

Pacific Entertainment Managing Director and concert promoter Robyn Alexander said a converted James Hay Theatre would fill a gap in Christchurch venues.

Alexander told local media “there is no doubt that the city does lack something like that for smaller gigs.

"Having that sort of venue will open up new artists coming to Christchurch."

Alexander said the venue would attract similar acts to those that play the Powerstation in Auckland, which has recently hosted acts like Elbow, Billy Bragg, Mogwai and Snoop Dogg.

Christchurch composer and conductor Luke di Somma, who has been a critic of the James Hay Theatre, welcomed the conversion plans, adding “it is a relief that they are looking to make it fit for purpose. I think it is potentially a really exciting opportunity.

“Anything that makes the James Hay smaller and more functional is good."

The revamp is based on concept plans by celebrated British theatre architects Haworth Tompkins, who were commissioned by Christchurch City Council to help inform the Town Hall decision.

Council Development Director Peter Vause said narrowing the auditorium would improve the acoustics, concluding “the theatre is currently in a radial shape, so we are looking at making it into a more traditional shoe box-shaped auditorium, like traditional music spaces in Europe.

"Changing the gallery layout and adding more traditional box seats down the side will address the sight line problems, while the shape addresses the acoustic design. Suddenly, we have a more classical style venue."

Lower Image shows plans for the redevelopment of the Christchurch Town Hall for Performing Arts.

12th June 2015 - GO AHEAD FOR $127.5 MILLION RESTORATION OF CHRISTCHURCH TOWN HALL

27th November 2013 - CHRISTCHURCH REVEALS PLANS FOR TOWN HALL AND PERFORMING ARTS PRECINCT

1st September 2013 - CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL AGREES TOWN HALL RESTORATION

11th April 2011 - VBASE’S PLANS TO BRING CHRISTCHURCH VENUES ‘BACK TO LIFE’ 


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

TICKETSERV

As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing

 
 

TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues

 
 

State Wide Pool Services

Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/hydrilla-pty-ltd

read more

Aquatics

 
 

LIFE FLOOR (Aus & NZ)

Our team believes floors should be beautiful, comfortable, and engineered for safety, even when wet. Life Floor tiles meet six unique performance based standards: slip-resistance, impact absorption,…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces

 
 

Yellowbox Lockers

Yellowbox is an Australian technology company that has developed smart locker technology operated through an app with a focus on experience for users and facility managers. Found at Beaches, Aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Entertainment / Retail / Security

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

iDwala Pty Ltd

iDwala is the Community Sports Surface Specialist offering the highest quality designs and technical expertise to Councils, Schools and Sporting Clubs looking to create sporting…

read more

Consultants / Design / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business