The Auckland Civic Theatre is a large heritage theatre seating 2,378 people in central Auckland. First opened on 20 December 1929, it was reopened in 2000 after a major renovation and conservation effort.
It is a famous example of the atmospheric theatre style, in which lights and design were used to convey an impression of being seated in an outdoor auditorium at night, creating the illusion of an open sky complete with twinkling stars.
The Auckland Civic Theatre is internationally significant as the largest surviving atmospheric cinema in Australasia (and also one of the only seven of its style remaining in the world) and as the first purpose-built cinema of this type in New Zealand.
It is also known for its Indian-inspired foyer, which includes seated Buddhas, twisted columns and domed ceilings. The main auditorium was designed in a similar style, imitating a Moorish garden with turrets, minarets, spires and tiled roofs as well as several famous Abyssinian panther statues.
It could hold 2,750 people at its opening and even at its reduced current seating, is still the largest theatre in New Zealand.
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