Story: Theatres, cinemas and halls

First purpose-built cinema: the King's Theatre

First purpose-built cinema: the King's Theatre

While movies had been shown in various venues since the 1890s, New Zealand's first purpose-built picture theatre or cinema was the King's Theatre in Wellington. It opened in 1910 and had a large auditorium with a spacious dress circle. Modernised in art deco style in 1937, its auditorium featured a spectacular neon light show before screenings. In the early 1980s it was converted into two cinemas, but due to declining patronage it was demolished in 1986.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Bennie Collection
Reference: 1/2-139957-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Theatres, cinemas and halls - Early 20th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 June 2024)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 22 Oct 2014