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St. James Theatre closed indefinately :'(


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The St James Theatre has been closed indefinitely by the Auckland City Council after dodgy wiring in the historic venue caused a fire.


Theatre operator Peter McArthur, who has a long-term lease on the building, says the place has been shut down and he's not sure when it is going to reopen.


The fire on May 12 happened because of an electrical fault in a switchboard in a backstage dressing room at the Westend Theatre, a small theatre within the complex.


"The council has issued a warrant to close the building for public access until the landlord can convince them the complex is safe to be used," says McArthur.


Landlord Paul Doole, an apartment developer, told McArthur the theatre was going to be open on Monday but it wasn't.


Doole told TimeOut he couldn't say when the venue was going to reopen.


"Council are reviewing it; we've got consultants producing reports and they're doing an audit of the theatre. Being an older building, and being a heritage building, the council are sensitive to safety."


The St James is a category one historic building, meaning it is protected and cannot be bulldozed. Considering the number of reports required to assess what needs to be done to get the building up to standard, it could be a long wait before punters return.


It could also be costly. A council spokesperson says even though the fire was in the Westend Theatre the electrics of the entire complex need investigating.


Since the fire the theatre has lost TV2's Pop's Ultimate Star and this week's Solidsonic punk rock festival. Evermore have changed their show to the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna. Future shows, such as Xzibit in June, Bloc Party in August, and the Taste of Chaos Tour in October, are up in the air.


"The artists' agents are saying if you can't confirm a venue we don't even want to put it on our world trip, which is understandable. So, unless we can get some answers in a hurry then those shows are in jeopardy," says McArthur, who is already more than $100,000 out of pocket because of the lost shows.


"As operators of the theatre and the long-term lease, we want to see it as a good theatre for rock'n'roll and all the rest of the stuff that we do in there."


Doole still plans to build apartments in front of the theatre on Queen St. He says a revised resource consent application will be filed in the next four to five weeks.

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Yeah... was trippin hard watching everyone stand around the front dance floor area until someone busted on the mic "People Will Die If You Don't Move Back Behind the Barrier Cause the Roof is Going to Fall Down"


Shit cleared fast after that... hahaha still thou... that ain't cool!


Positive side: CDawn can say that they have actually brought the roof down! BIG UPS

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yeah dude, i was out in the backstage area and then rocked out on to the D-Floor to see everyone standing like 15m back from the stage behind that rail thing rockin out to the CCD. it was mental!


didnt get a pic of the crowd like that, but i got a shot of the hole in the roof

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Yeah hard out, that shit was whack.


My mate was standing directly underneath the panel that was fallin out. He got plaster and shit falling on his head and was buzzin out confused as fuck. You don't expect the roof to be falling on you.


If that panel had actually fallen down someone would have got royally fucked up. As it was it was hanging on by a thread. Ahhh good times at the St James.

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