Here at The Court, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the magic of theatre. Therefore, we are well prepared to help those requiring special access.
Accessibility at The Court
Audio Described Performances
In our audio described performances blind and visually impaired audience members attend a touch tour before the performance. This is an opportunity to touch the set, props and costumes and to get an idea of the scale and visual components of the production. The audience members then listen to introductory notes, which give more detail on the design elements and themes of the show. During the performance, the audience members listen to live audio descriptions on headsets, which complement the dialogue with details of visual storytelling to ensure blind and visually impaired audience members are able to fully engage in the production.
Where is The Court?
The Court is situated at the end of Bernard Street in Addington, Christchurch. Bernard Street is off Lincoln Road.
The building is near railway tracks and you can sometimes feel and hear the trains when they move past the theatre.
A Relaxed Performance is a special performance of a show designed to welcome those who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders or a learning difficulty.
For more information, click here.
Communication Friendly Performances
Communication Friendly Performances are designed for those with communication difficulties.
To find out more, click here.
You may book tickets online via telephone on (03) 963 0870 or by booking in person at our Box Office at The Court. If you are deaf or find hearing difficult you may book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have access requirements or questions, please call Box Office or come into the theatre so we can do our best to tailor our services to your needs. For example, if you let us know there is a large group of people with access requirements, we may arrange for an extra usher that night.
For those with Hāpai Access Cards, we offer a discounted rate for the cardholder and their companion. You will need to present your Hāpai Access Card at time of booking or when you collect your tickets.
There are three car-parking spaces for Accessibility Pass holders at the front of our car-parking area on a first-come first-serve basis. There is plenty of car-parking for other patrons.
Patrons do not have to pay for parking during performances. If you are coming in to book tickets, there are fifteen-minute bays close to the theatre entrance.
You may wish to be dropped off and collected after a performance. Our Box Office staff can inform you of the duration of the performance. If you are arranging for a taxi to pick you up after the show, we recommend you pre-order for a shorter wait-time. Our Box Office or bar staff can call for a taxi for you.
Coming into the theatre
All facilities are at ground level. The entry to the foyer from the car park is at ground level through two sets of glass doors. As you come in, the box office is to your left and accessible toilets are to your right.
Beyond the box office is a bar and a coffee cart.
There are women’s and men’s toilets with two steps into each. There are also two accessible toilets at ground level. Please note there is no hoist system in the toilets. There is a baby change facility in one of the accessible toilets.
The foyer has a concrete floor.
Main auditorium – The Court Theatre's mainstage
The Court houses an air-conditioned 390-seat auditorium.
There are two entry points into the main auditorium:
There is flat access from the foyer to the front of the auditorium. Wheelchair users use this access door, which is down the corridor to the right as you come into the foyer. If you are seated near the front of the auditorium and have difficulty with stairs you may also like to use this access door.
The other entrance to the auditorium is towards the centre of the foyer on the right hand side. You go up 20 steps (with two landings and handrails) to enter into the back of the auditorium (row K).
The auditorium has 22 steps between the front of the auditorium (row A) and the back of the auditorium (row L).
The auditorium is carpeted.
Pub Charity Studio
There is one entry point into the Pub Charity Studio, towards the centre of the foyer on the left hand side. There is a wooden ramp with handrails either side leading into the Pub Charity Studio.
The Pub Charity Studio has a flat wooden floor.
Wheelchairs, Restricted Mobility and Vision Impairment
The auditorium is equipped with five wheelchair spaces in the front row. Please advise our Box Office staff at the time of booking if you or one of your party uses a wheelchair. Also let our Box Office staff know whether the wheelchair user wishes to stay in their wheelchair or transfer to a seat. The Court does not provide wheelchairs.
We also provide access assistance for patrons with mobility or vision impairments where an usher will help you to your seat. Please advise our Box Office staff at the time of booking if you require access assistance. If you let us know when you book that you or one of your party has difficulty with stairs, we can aim to seat you closer to the stage.
For patrons in wheelchairs or with restricted mobility or vision impairment, we ask that you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to the performance. If you are going into the auditorium, please wait in the foyer by the access door beyond the toilets. If you are going into the studio, let the usher know and wait by the entrance to the studio.
If you would like assistance to exit the auditorium or studio during the interval, please let the usher know.
For patrons with a hearing aid, a hearing loop is available.
We recommend booking early because the hearing loop works best for patrons seating in the centre block (rows B, C, E, F and G). Please inform our Box Office staff of your requirements.
There are also headsets for the hearing loop available from the Box Office. If you would like to use a headset, please come to the theatre 30 minutes before prior to the performance. After the performance is over, please return the headset to bar staff.
We welcome guide dogs at The Court – please inform Box Office at the time of booking. We will aim to offer aisle or front row seating.
Effects in Productions
Please note that strobe lighting, smoke effects and gunshots are sometimes used in productions. Details are available from our Box Office staff.
We are always looking to ensure that we are providing good accessibility to our patrons – if you have any suggestions for us on how we can improve our services please let us know.