Big Little City asked me to write a journey but then I realised each place I suggested was a night in itself - no matter. Here's a few notable venues I'm glad are in the Auckland CBD.
Sure it must be within one of the most catered-to performance venue per square mile locations in the whole universe but The Basement holds a unique spot in the AK theatre scene. From exciting cutting edge new works through to b-list celebrity monologues dressed up as shows, even when you leave miffed you're glad you went. You're close enough to be spat on, and everyone there looks likes excited to be seeing something new. Be one of them.
I challenge anyone to turn up for anything at The Civic and not feel a sense of occasion. Restored and resplendent. If your date is boring you can watch the stars on the ceiling as you wait for the show to start. Even better still is the grand old lady isn't reserved just for high brow fluff, they let that cinema terrorist Ant Timpson pedal his filth there too - and Goblin performing their live score to Dario Argento's horror masterpiece Suspiria as part of the Film Festival is the perfect opportunity to widen your entertainment radar.
I love going to the flicks and I love entrepreneurs. So when I heard an acquaintance was taking over the Academy Cinema to give it a new lease on life my corn was popping big time. The whole place has been refurbished and they have smart people programming films. Who cares if you have to climb down a few stairs to get there, you're sitting down for the next two hours. Mulltiplex's have their place but when in doubt support an independent.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival
Okay so this is only one day a year but having a relevant music festival right in the city, well that's the kind of thing we used to dream of. January will be their third outing at Silo Park and the venue now feels like its natural and hopefully long-term home. Haven't heard of the bands? Who cares, my job description mentions something about having my finger on a pulse and I usually don't know half of them either. Discovery is the name of the game! And the other 364 days? Well TV shows can't stop using the bloody place as a location so that must make it worth a visit.