Christchurch Town Hall reopened to the public for the first time in eight years in February 2019.
The Douglas Lilburn Auditorium, the Avon Room (the former Boaters Restaurant), Victoria and Limes Rooms have been restored and the public got a chance to see inside for the first time(external link) in February 2019 during two open days.
Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO), with Shapeshifter, were the first to perform in the newly restored Town Hall on 1 March 2019.
With construction work still to be completed on the James Hay Theatre and the new CSO building, there is currently no public access to the building outside ticketed events.
Vbase, the venue management company that operates the Town Hall, is looking at opportunities for further public tours through the Town Hall following the success of the public open days.
The Town Hall has been strengthened to 100% of the new building standard and significantly refurbished, ensuring it is a modern, world-class facility that can be enjoyed for many years to come.
We have identified opportunities to bring the Town Hall up to modern standards as construction has progressed, while retaining its unique heritage features.
A purpose-built facility is also being built for the CSO, giving it a permanent home in the complex for the first time. This building will be completed later in 2019.
In May 2018, the Council approved $152.2 million in funding for the Town Hall plus the purpose-built CSO facility. On 19 December 2019, it approved additional funding of up to $15 million.
The Council considered a report outlining the damage and providing options on the future of the Town Hall.
The Council voted unanimously to repair the existing facility to 100 per cent of New Building Standard.
Following overwhelming support from the public to restore the Town Hall as part of the 2012/13 Annual Plan process, the Council reconfirmed its commitment to restoring the facility to 100 per cent of New Building Standard on 29 August 2013.
Christchurch City Council votes to fully repair and restore the earthquake-damaged Town Hall at a cost of $127.5 million.
Hawkins is appointed as the main contractor and site preparations begin.
The option of building a new 1500 seat auditorium and 600 seat theatre on a new site – as outlined in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan – at a cost of $193.5 million was considered by the Council, but rejected.
Work to strengthen the Town Hall’s badly damaged foundations begins.
Approval is given to upgrade the Auditorium’s stage by installing stage lifts.
The decision is also taken to improve the Avon Room's (former Boaters restaurant) accessibility by making the floor all one level.
Approval is given to add acoustics to the James Hay Theatre to improve the sound quality.
As part of its 2016/17 Annual Plan process, the Council adjusts the budget for the Town Hall to take into account inflationary pressures. The adjustment takes the total approved budget to $133.1 million.
A fly tower (or theatrical rigging system) is added to the scope of works for the James Hay Theatre.
Retractable seating is approved for the James Hay Theatre.
Agreement is given, in principle, for the Cambridge Room to be rebuilt as a purpose-built facility for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Approval is given for additional security cameras to be installed in the Town Hall.
Council approves additional budget for improvements to the Town Hall, bringing the total budget to $152.2 million.
The first areas in the Town Hall, including the Douglas Lilburn uditorium, the foyer, the Avon Room (former function room), the Victoria and Limes Rooms, are complete. Public open days will run from 23-24 February.
The first event, CSO with Shapeshifter, was held in the newly restored Town Hall on 1 March 2019.