Sky Tower

Civic Theater

Civic Theater: An Interesting Piece of History

This lavish art nouveau movie theater was a craze in Auckland when it was opened in 1929. However, it became the talk of the town for a completely different reason. Just nine months from the date of its opening the owner- Thomas O’Brien- faced some severe financial conditions which he failed to overcome and hence decided to flee. With him he took all the week’s revenues and an usherette; this development remained the fuel to the gossip mill for years.

Civic Theater’s Icon

During World War II, it was famous for the cabaret show which used to take place in its basement; most of its people in attendance were Allied servicemen. During this era it was most frequently visited because of one entertainer named Freda Stark, who was titled as the ‘Fever of the Fleet’ by the men. In her remembrance, the café which sits at the front of this theater bears her name.

Other Highlights

Other than its golden history, other most noted thing about the theater is that when a show or a movie commences here, a simulated night sky appears on the ceiling with giant lions with luminous eyes. It is refreshing to know that the theater continuously hosts movie premieres, dance parties and concerts.

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