A former Waipā District Heritage committee member is at the forefront of major design upgrades to Hamilton's Meteor Theatre.
Paua architect, Antanas Procuta, has been the mastermind behind the Meteor Theatre's architectural designs since 2006.
"Between the University, Wintec and Hamilton City Council we created a master plan of the creative industries hub for people in Hamilton and the plans have stuck through - interestingly enough," says Antanas.
Meteor Theatre manager Deborah Nudds says continuing to adapt and modernise the building is important to fulfil their mantra of "a space for the community to share creative experiences".
Phase four renovations for the theatre will focus on introducing unisex bathrooms.
The aesthetics will be semi-industrial, tying it to the history of the theatre as the Innes bottling factory.
"Each cubicle will have a hand basin, full height walls and doors, which will be wider than normal for people with wheelchairs or prams," says Antanas.
Deborah says improvements to the bathroom facilities are important, especially with current COVID-19 circumstances.
"We are looking at touchless flush toilets and touchless taps. So, in the future if there were problems with the pandemic we have the most sanitised contactless, safest facility for our audience to use," says Deborah.
Costs for the ablutions development are approximately $450,000.
Antanas says phase five will focus on trying to "make the theatre a part of everyday life in Hamilton".
This phase will level the Nancy Caiger gallery floor and will knock-down the ticketing bar walls to create a more open space in the lobby.
Developments will add a cafe on the Anzac Parade side of the lobby and will lower the windows.
"This is to create a better interaction between what is happening on the streets of Hamilton and what is happening in the theatre," says Antanas.
He says he would love the cafe to be a place where locals can grab coffee and lunch and it doesn't have to be before or after the theatre.
Potential plans for phase six have not been finalised but a glass veranda outside with a landmark lantern on the corner of the building has been discussed.
"We want to try to make the lantern a branded landmark, but those are things for the future. For now we are focused on phase four and five," says Antanas.
The theatre has been under development since 1996.
Previous renovations addressed fundamental improvements to the building from sound-proofing the black box theatre to earthquake strengthening and installing the front door ramp.
The 21st Century performing arts hub was known as Innes bottling factory in 1900 and through the years the modest building has been a skate rink and a car yard.
Recent development plans will continue to focus on "future proofing" the well-loved community space.
If you would like to support the Meteor theatres development plans, visit