For those that are not familiar with the St James Theater in Auckland, it is a heritage stage theater and cinema located on Queen St. Since 2007, due to fire damage, the theaters doors have remained closed. So, who cares it’s an old run-down building? – Well for a city that takes pride in its heritage, the St James is a site of awe that must be restored! Originally built in 1928, St James Theater was designed by Dunedin-born architect Henry Eli White who designed over 130 theaters throughout New Zealand and Australia. Not only is the building structure timely and magnificent, as a venue the St James has proven king for a great variety of musicals, operas, parties, concerts, plays and so much more, leaving generations of Aucklanders’ with fond memories of the St James. In its later years (as hire fees dropped) dance music promoters took the might St James on to host then massive events like the world famous Gatecrasher, Slinky, Gods Kitchen
According to stuff.co.nz a $175 million dollar project is set to be under way for completion before 2018, restoring the St James, adding near 200 car parks, 3 levels of retail and 39 levels of prime residential real-estate. Although the St James was open to public after a quick patch up, the building is set to shut down while developers start work on the St James Tower. Not only is the St James closed during this time for safety reasons, it is also set to undergo further restoration / renovation while being brought up to new earthquake safety standards. It sucks we won’t be going any time soon, but it will be worth the wait. Hopefully this won’t turn into another venue with noise complaint issues in Auckland, however it is very exciting to see the magnificent site restored, opening the doors to the St James for future generations.
Take a look at this video by 1to100 Architectual Visualisation that gives us an incite on whats planned.