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.

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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.

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Theatres, cinemas and halls - Early 20th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/42380/first-purpose-built-cinema-the-kings-theatre (accessed 24 August 2019)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 22 Oct 2014