Auckland's The Civic Theatre is turning 90 this month.
To celebrate, 90 people will get the chance to discover the magic of this grand building during special commemorative tours.
Three tours will be held on Friday, 20 December. On this date in 1929, The Civic opened its doors for the first time to considerable fanfare. Today, it is considered the home of musical theatre and is hotly contested by promoters as a prestige venue for their shows.
During the commemorative tours, a select group will get to see the secrets of this beautiful building. The hour-long tour will be conducted by enthusiastic insiders who will take the group behind the scenes, under the stage, into the opera box and orchestra pit, and to other places that only performers and stage-hands normally get to see.
Those lucky enough to secure a ticket will hear the stories of the building's history, design and construction, as well as some of the stage secrets and gossip that bring its colourful history to life.
Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) manages The Civic, with its performing arts and conventions arm, Auckland Live and Auckland Conventions responsible for sourcing and programming the rich variety of performing arts and events held within its unique spaces.
Auckland Live and Auckland Conventions director Robbie Macrae describes The Civic as the jewel in the crown of Auckland's entertainment space.
"We are very proud to be able to present a year-round programme of the most spectacular events in this beautiful theatre," says Mr Macrae. "Coming to this venue is an event in itself. It makes a special night out even more memorable and promoters love to stage their events here as it provides a sense of theatre from the moment they walk in the door."
Regional Facilities Auckland chief executive Chris Brooks agrees.
"Back in 1929, this grand old lady was heralded as 'a theatre worthy of Auckland', he says. "Today, it is Aucklanders who marvel at her immense worth to us.
"It still gives me a thrill to see the wonder on young patrons' faces when they enter the lobby and experience the whimsy and exotic atmosphere of The Civic for the first time. She is one of the last of her kind, and RFA is tremendously proud to be the guardian and custodian of this amazing asset for Aucklanders.
"The Civic has welcomed some of the best productions and most talented performers in the world in her time – and the best is yet to come. RFA looks forward to hosting many more outstanding productions on that iconic stage over the next year and beyond."
Tickets to these tours go on sale via Ticketmaster.
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All tickets $39.90* with free souvenir postcard and 10% discount off food and 20% off beverages at Starks Café and Bar.
Tours times: 9:30am, 11:00am and 12.30pm | 20 December only