St. James Theatre

77 Courtney Place,
Wellington 6141

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Related Websites

St. James Theatre, Wellington (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Kerridge-Odeon

Architects: Henry Eli White

Functions: Live Theatre

Styles: Baroque

Previous Names: His Majesty'sTheatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 6404.384.3840

Nearby Theaters

St. James Theatre

Opened as the His Majesty’s Theatre on 26th December 1912, it was built for John Fuller to be used for vaudeville and films. The opening film was “Nell Gwynne” starring Nellie Stewart. At the time, it was the largest theatre in Australasia with 2,355 seats. Designed in a splendid Edwardian Baroque style by noted theatre architect Henry Eli White, seating was provided in orchestra, dress circle and balcony levels. There are six boxes on each side of the proscenium. After the first 9 months screening films, it went over to live show use on September 15, 1913 as a vaudeville theatre.

On 3rd May 1930 it was re-named St. James Theatre when it went over to full time cinema use when talkies were introduced. The opening film was Arthur Lake in “On With the Show”, which as well as being a talkie, it was a colour film. Operated from March 1945 by Kerridge-Odeon, it was faced with demolition in the 1980’s. The final film screened was “Wanted: Dead or Alive” starring Rutger Hauer on 7th May 1987. The theatre was saved and purchased by the city council through a charitable trust.

A full restoration was carried out in 1998, and the building is recognised by New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category 1 building.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 21, 2010 at 8:02 am

Thanks Ken for a great picture.

Mark747 on August 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Nice 1930’s photo of the auditorium taken from the “gods"
View link

CSWalczak on August 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Unfortunately, the link won’t work now because the New Zealand National Library uses one of those systems that generates only temporary URLs that expire a few minutes later. You can see the picture if you enter “St. James Theatre” in the box under “Cross-Collection Search” here: The results will bring up a a thumbnail; clicking on will expand it.

CSWalczak on August 27, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Here’s a contemporary view:

Bradley Knewstubb
Bradley Knewstubb on August 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm

The St James is used for Live Theatre only

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.