FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When will the new Court Theatre open? We expect to open in 2024.

Can we see the designs of the new theatre? Athfield Architects (NZ) and Haworth Tompkins (London, UK) have completed the concept design work, and you can see the images here.

Where will the new theatre be situated? On the corner of Gloucester Street and Colombo Street, opposite Tūranga and the new Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

Will there be parking next to The Court Theatre? Christchurch City Council has plans to erect a new parking building next door, and we are hoping to negotiate accessible rates for The Court Theatre visitors. We hope that Council can announce progress soon. There are several other parking buildings within a few minutes’ walk and we will likewise want to negotiate accessible rates for our patrons.

What food will be available at the new Court? We are planning on taking our pizza oven and excellent coffee with us, and we are working with a leading commercial kitchen designer for an amazing food and drink experience.

When did you formally announce the move to the city? We signed our agreement with the Christchurch City Council on 7 July 2020.

Who will own the building? The Christchurch City Council will own the building and we will have an exclusive long-term lease for 55 years. This means The Court can put its resources into producing world-class productions, rather than worrying about upkeep of the building.

Why is The Court raising capital if it doesn’t own the building? The Court is a significant contributing partner and we want to ensure the new centre is fit for purpose as a world-class suite of theatres. Our contribution means that The Court will have a substantial say on all aspects of the design and build process.

What consideration is being given to meeting the needs of our diverse community? The new Court Theatre will be a welcoming and accessible space for all. Embracing cultural diversity is fundamental to who we are, and that can be seen in our casts, behind-the-scenes crew and audiences. We are working with Matapopore on the cultural narrative and how our new home will respond to the precinct and mana whenua. We hope to have some announcements around this shortly.

What will constitute the suite of theatres? There will be a 360-seat main theatre, a 120-150 seat studio, multipurpose studios, and an education studio. The architects have made all spaces flexible and functional to suit all kinds of shows.

Will The Court have exclusive use of the building? Yes, it will be our home. We intend to invite others to use the spaces so we can continue to respond to the needs and desires of our audiences and the community.

How much is The Court looking to raise? We have committed to raising $10 million to ensure we build a world-class customer-friendly theatre centre, and can fit it out for our needs.

Has The Court got that much money or does it need to fundraise? The Court intends to raise the full $10m. Donors and corporate sponsors have already committed over 30% of this target.

Will the lease be much more expensive than what The Court pays now? We have negotiated a comparable rent with the Council, and we have carefully considered our ability to be financially sustainable. As with all large items of expenditure, we look to secure grants to help with the costs.

What will happen to ‘The Shed’ when The Court moves? We don’t know yet! It is an opportunity.

Will the Friends of The Court Theatre still be involved in ushering? Yes! We could not operate The Court without our Friends of The Court Theatre. We hope there will be more opportunities for Friends to join the ushering team.

Geoffrey Dolan, That Bloody Woman, 2016. Image courtesy of Michael Smith, Auckland Theatre Company.