The Court Theatre’s new facility in Addington has been affectionately dubbed “The Shed” due to its original purpose as a grain storage silo.
The Shed’s impressive dimensions are 40m x 80m (3200 square metres), and is 11m at its highest point.
The new auditorium is designed to replicate and improve on all the things we’ve come to love about The Court, including:
- The intimacy between the stage and the audience.
- 300 larger and more comfortable seats.
- Better sight lines due to an increased rake of the seating bank.
- Built from Kingspan panels, it is thermally and acoustically insulated.
- All departments of The Court Theatre are housed in The Shed.
- Offices for administration, marketing, wardrobe and management inside portacoms.
- The box office and coffee bar are inside modified shipping containers.
- Ample space in the foyer for speeches, presentations and events, as well as performances by local musicians and artists.
- There are over 100 on-site car parks.
Following the earthquake on 4 September 2010, The Court Theatre resumed performances as quickly as possible and remained committed to its home in the Arts Centre. However, the more destructive quake of 22 February 2011 caused significant damage to the Arts Centre buildings and The Court had to leave its home of the last thirty-five years.
The Court Theatre Trust had built up modest reserves over the years by regularly saving small sums. This rainy day fund was utilised as part of a fundraising campaign to construct the new facilities in The Shed. The Court raised the necessary funds thanks to a wide range of donors, and opened to the public on 10 December 2011 after a sixteen-week build.
It is a time of great challenges but also one of tremendous opportunity for The Court to consolidate and reinforce its position as New Zealand’s leading theatre company whilst the city rebuilds and revitalises itself. A thriving arts sector will be of crucial importance to restoring the health of the economy as well as the spiritual well-being of Christchurch.