Odeon Theatre, Christchurch

Christchurch, New Zealand

Odeon Theatre, Christchurch

The Odeon Theatre in Christchurch was the oldest masonry theatre in New Zealand, and one of only three remaining purpose-built 19th-century theatres in the country. The building has had different names over the years, and was put to many different uses. It was damaged beyond repair in the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake and partially demolished in September 2012. The theatre was recognised as a Category I heritage building by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, with registration number 3140. One of its most notable aspects was its use as a public meeting venue of Kate Sheppard during her women's suffrage campaign.

A syndicate of citizens formed the Public Hall Company Ltd and through this commissioned the building. The theatre, located in 214 Tuam Street, was built in 1883 to a design by Thomas Stoddart Lambert (1840–1915). It had a capacity of 2,200 people, 600 of whom fitted into the gallery. The stage was initially 60 feet (18 m) wide and 40 feet (12 m) deep. The building was opened on 20 July 1883, with the Mayor of Christchurch, George Ruddenklau, presiding.

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