Need to Upgrade
The Theatre closed at the end of 2005 as such major maintenance was needed that it was no longer possible to get a licence to operate the building as a theatre.
The redevelopment aims are for international standard facilities for patrons and performers alike, while preserving the heritage values of the Theatre. Accordingly, preservation of materials, features and building elements are central to the project.
The grandeur of the 1878 auditorium is being reinstated. Original hand-painted wallpaper has been uncovered, new paper hand-made to match, and the colour palette returned to the original Victorian scheme. The seats are being restored, and four period chandeliers sourced. No stone is left unturned in restoring the historic atmosphere.
The refitted Theatre Royal boasts the added comforts of a computerised air conditioning system and fully restored seating. The refurbished Foyer will also possess a new bar and toilet facilities.
Back of House
A new 3 story tilt slab concrete structure forms the stage, fly tower, & orchestra pit, plus the dressing, meeting, wardrobe and rehearsal rooms, replacing a single story with lean-to structure. The latest developments in lighting and sound technology will be employed backstage as well as a counterweighted scenery flying system.
Fit for another 100 Years
The heritage of Nelson’s sole remaining grand theatrical dame has been honoured by this redevelopment project. Alongside this, state-of-the-art staging and audience facilities have been installed that will ensure the Theatre is attractive to artists and audiences alike for the next 100 years.
Theatre Royal redevelopment photo story by Kiki Nichols. http://www.kikinichols.co.nz