Auckland’s Iconic Mercury Theatre Gets New Lease of Life

There’s Life in the Old Dame Yet

Auckland’s iconic Mercury Theatre has a new lease of life, with the creation of The Mercury Theatre Production Company, now managing the 775 seat venue.

Extensive renovations of the Category II Heritage building over the past 10 years has seen much of the original interior paintwork restored, the lighting rig upgraded and stage enlarged. Most recently, new theatre seats have been installed in the upper and lower galleries and a box office and modern ticketing system implemented.

iTICKET CEO Reece Preston says, “We are excited to be partnering with the Mercury Theatre Production Company at this beautiful and historic venue. iTICKET was founded on our love of theatre and we believe that ticketing should be part of a great live event experience for audiences.”

Built in 1910 and located just off Karangahape Road, The Mercury Theatre, with its engaging architecture and façade is the oldest surviving theatre in Auckland. Although intended primarily as a live drama venue, the theatre was also built with the technology to screen the new ‘Electric Moving Pictures’ of the time.

The Mercury Theatre in 1920, then called the Kings Theatre. Photo: Auckland War Memorial Museum collection.

The Mercury Theatre in 1920, then called the Kings Theatre. Photo: Auckland War Memorial Museum collection.

From 1968 – 1991 the theatre was home to the Mercury Theatre Company. Many notable New Zealand actors performed at the Mercury in its heyday, including Raymond Hawthorne, Cliff Curtis, Ian Mune, Lee Grant, George Henare, Rima Te Waiata, Michael Hurst and Jennifer Ward-Lealand.

“We have some fantastic events coming up in the new Mercury Theatre calendar, and with the entrance to the new City Rail Link’s Karangahape Station being built directly next door, we hope the future of this treasured Auckland performing arts venue will go from strength to strength”, says Conor Candler, director of the Mercury Theatre Production Company.

City Rail Link concept impression of the new CRL Karangahape Road station next to Mercury Theatre. Photo: www.cityraillink.co.nz with permission from City Rail Link Project. More images at www.cityraillink.co.nz.

City Rail Link concept impression of the new CRL Karangahape Road station next to Mercury Theatre.
Photo: www.cityraillink.co.nz with permission from City Rail Link Project. More images at www.cityraillink.co.nz.

The Mercury Theatre Production Company are celebrating the venue’s nostalgic roots with a triple bill of Charlie Chaplin’s most famous movies. The screenings on 30 September and 1 October will be in black and white, with original early 20th Century subtitles, 1920’s music and swing dancing on the stage after the films.

Tickets are available here.

-Scoop.

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About Holly Vaihu

Marketing & Design Manager for iTICKET, Holly comes from a background in branding, design and visual communications. She also brings her experience in producing and promoting a range of arts and community focused events, helping promoters and venues to captivate their audiences through iTICKET’s targeted marketing opportunities.