Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


The Civic Spills its Secrets

Tuesday 16 May, 2017

The Civic Spills its Secrets

Auckland Live is delighted to announce the launch of public tours of Auckland’s grand old lady of theatre, The Civic.

Popular demand has led to the creation of the ticketed 45-minute guided tours, announced today as part of Auckland Live’s third birthday celebrations and which go on sale next Monday.

The tours, commencing on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June, offer an intimate behind-the-scenes look at The Civic’s iconic architecture, decor and colourful 88-year history, much of which intersects with some of Auckland’s most seismic moments of the 20th century.

Built in just eight months as an atmospheric cinema, The Civic opened in 1929 and provided a glamorous experience for patrons attending the ‘talkies’ during The Great Depression.

An instant sensation with its exotic interiors including seated Buddha, twisted columns and domed ceilings, the main auditorium caused gasps of astonishment with its Indian temple lobby, Moorish golden minarets, spires and giant Abyssinian panther statues.

Visitors to The Civic over the decades have included some of the biggest names in show business including Bette Davis and The Rolling Stones, and dignitaries such as Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and the Dalai Lama.

Today The Civic is one of the few intact remaining atmospheric theatres in the world, with an Auckland Council A and Category 1 Heritage NZ listing.

Offering an insider’s view of the workings of the country’s largest theatre, each tour is packed full of facts, anecdotes and fun, as well as access to areas usually reserved for the stars and backstage technicians.

Led by specially-trained guides, visitors will get a taste of the glitz and greasepaint found backstage; hear the scandalous tales of what went on in The Wintergarden when Roosevelt’s GIs were in town; take in views from the auditorium’s opera boxes and orchestra pit; and soak up the atmosphere of the 2300-seat auditorium, beneath the beauty of its famous twinkling night sky sequence.

Auckland Live director, Robbie Macrae, says demand for regular tours of The Civic has been steadily growing, and he’s delighted the new tours will be part of Auckland Live’s permanent programme.

“We always knew The Civic was much-loved by Aucklanders, but one-off tours last summer showed the public’s interest in The Civic was overwhelming,” says Robbie Macrae.

“The Civic has been a part of some of the city’s most exciting and defining moments, and to be able to share such a rich resource with residents and visitors alike is a privilege,” he says.

“We are looking forward to programming future tours on a regular basis, and plans include themed tours for the likes of Halloween and Christmas, accessibility tours and children’s tours.”

Visit here for more tour details.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The America’s Cup

The fact New Zealand now reigns supreme once again in the most sophisticated contest in the world’s most elite sport – yacht racing – can’t help but reflect the trajectory the country has been on since the 1980s... More>>


Howard Davis: Christopher Marlowe & 'The Tragedy Of Dr. Faustus'

Previous versions of 'The Devil's Pact' can be traced back to the fourth century, Marlowe deviated significantly by depicting his protagonist as unable to burn his books or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled... More>>


Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland