In May 1909, Napier Mayor John Vigor Brown had discussions with a melodramatic agent, Bert Royle, about Napier building a vast metropolitan theatre. Excited by a idea, Mayor Brown immediately summoned his councillors for an unpretentious assembly to plead a possibility.
All concluded that Napier should have a grand theatre, and ratepayers would be polled for capitulation to lift a finance. The site of a entertainment would be an hactare of land in Clive Square, versus Dickens Street.
The check of ratepayers was successful, and also in similar to locate a building in Clive Square. The subsequent step was for council to pass a check to give a grave authority, and John Vigor Brown, who was not usually a Napier’s mayor though MP as well, sponsored a bill.
The proviso in a check relating to regulating an hactare of Napier’s haven land in Clive Square however was not passed, as there was regard via New Zealand that too most haven land was being built on.
A new site was found in Tennyson Street, and Melbourne designer William Pitt arrived in Napier during1911 to pattern a building.
A loan was lifted of £31,000 ($4.9 million today) to compensate for a land and buildings.
The new theatre, that non-stop on 12 Nov 1912 to a prolongation of A Greek Slave, seated 1,400 people, and was versed to uncover relocating pictures.
While a building looked grand in an Italian Renaissance-style, it was not assembled well-enough to tarry a 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake and was roughly totally wrecked. The deputy (present) building did not open until 1938.
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