- The Opera House
The Opera House has been a social and entertainment venue for successive generations in Wellington. It has housed a variety of events including Opera, Drama, Public Meetings, Concerts and Ballets. Originally known as the Grand Opera House, it was designed by Melbourne Architect William Pitt and supervised by Architect Albert Liddy. Opening day was Easter Saturday in 1914.
At the time it was one of the largest proscenium arch theatres of its kind in Australasia. Due to its lavishly decorated public room and auditorium with a domed ceiling, circle, marble staircase and grand circle together with two tiers of boxes, it is an icon of early 1900s architecture.
The building has been classified as an Historic Building by the Historic Places Trust of New Zealand and awarded an “A” classification.
It is constructed of double capacity brick walls two feet thick and jarrah floors. It has a bigger stage than the Sydney Opera house and even London’s West End has only two stages that are larger.
Being an older theatre, the Opera House is also said to house three ghosts – old friends from the past.Source: http://www.stjames.co.nz/ (November 2007)