Christchurch Town Hall, the city's premier performing arts and civic facility, is being restored.

Christchurch Town Hall repair in May 2018

Two time-lapse cameras have been installed to provide a glimpse of the work underway at the Town Hall, one inside the auditorium and a second outside facing the northern elevation (Kilmore Street).

See what's happening at the Town Hall(external link)

As part of the conservation project, which began in June 2015, the Town Hall's auditorium, entrance foyer, James Hay Theatre and the Limes Room are being restored. The former Boaters restaurant is also being rebuilt.

The restoration of the Town Hall is due to be completed in the third quarter of 2018. The Council has agreed to replace the damaged Cambridge Room with a purpose-built facility for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO).  The administration and rehearsal facility will include toilets for the public and office space for Vbase, the venue management company that operates the Town Hall. This is a separate project within the main restoration project and is expected to be completed in early 2019. We are aiming to reopen the Town Hall in March 2019.

The Town Hall is being strengthened to 100 per cent 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, and to future-proof the building, as construction has progressed.

A total of $152.2 million has been set aside for the main Town Hall restoration project plus the proposed purpose-built facility for the CSO.

Town Hall timeline

June 2015

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.

November 2015

Work to strengthen the Town Hall’s badly damaged foundations begins.

January 2016

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.

Mid 2016

Approval is given to add acoustics to the James Hay Theatre to improve the sound quality.

June 2016

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.

December 2016

A fly tower (or theatrical rigging system) is added to the scope of works for the James Hay Theatre.

May 2017

Retractable seating is approved for the Auditorium.

July 2017

Agreement is given, in principle, for the Cambridge Room to be rebuilt as a purpose-built facility for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

March 2018

Approval is given for additional security cameras to be installed in the Town Hall.

May 2018

Council approves additional budget for improvements to the Town Hall, bringing the total budget to $152.2 million.

Third quarter 2018

The main Town Hall restoration due to be completed.

Early 2019

Proposed Christchurch Symphony Orchestra addition expected to be completed.

March 2019

Town Hall, plus proposed Christchurch Symphony Orchestra addition, expected to reopen to the public.