The St. James Theatre is a heritage stage theatre and cinema in Queen Street currently closed for restoration.
The theatre, which was built in 1928, was designed as a vaudeville theatre. The increasing popularity of cinema in the late 1920s allowed for a film projector to be added eighteen months after its opening. The theatre has been a venue for live performances and cinema over the years.
In 2007 the theatre closed following a fire. It briefly opened in 2015 during a restoration period.
The restoration project of the historic theatre has been put on hold for the last nine months after the apartment block project next door stalled.
The planned apartment block building will provide the theatre with toilets and disabled access. It is unlikely that the restoration of the theatre will go ahead without government support for both the restoration project and the apartment building project.
Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to tour the St. James Theatre organised by the community group Save the St. James Theatre Auckland.
The tour was led by Steve Bielby, from The Auckland Notable Properties Trust, who is entrusted with restoring and opening the St. James Theatre.