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Your Guide to Auckland’s 27 Best Theater and Show Venues

Your Guide to Auckland's 27 Best Theater and Show Venues

Are you a theater enthusiast or just someone looking to experience the magic of live performances? Well, you’re in luck because I have a comprehensive guide to Auckland’s 27 best theaters and show venues that you will want to attend. 

Whether you’re a seasoned theatergoer or just curious to explore the variety of shows, this guide will help you find the perfect performance to light up your next night out. So, let’s dive in and explore the wonderful world of Auckland’s theaters!

1. Basement Theater


Address: Lower Greys Avenue, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +6493097433

Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 5:30 PM to 12:00 AM 

Basement Theatre is a place where urgent and adventurous live performances made by independent artists are incubated and supported. They provide a space for the community to connect and offer artist development programs.

The theater features thought-provoking plays, experimental performances, hilarious stand-up comedy and captivating dance pieces. They offer affordable tickets and “choose what you pay” options, making theater accessible to a broader audience.

Pro tip:
After the show, there are often opportunities to meet the artists and discuss the performance.

2. Skycity Theater


Address: Cnr Victoria & Federal Streets, Auckland CBD 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 368 1555

Operating hours: showtimes vary depending on the event

SkyCity Theatre has a capacity of 700 seats and hosts various events, including international film festivals, large stage productions and musicals, concerts, local theatre, comedy shows, and more.

The theater stages various shows, from large-scale productions and musicals to concerts, film festivals, comedy shows, and local theater. It also boasts state-of-the-art technology in staging and cinema, ensuring a high-quality experience for the audience.

Pro tip:
Arrive early to soak in the theater’s atmosphere and enjoy a pre-show meal or drink at one of the many nearby restaurants or bars.

3. Herald Theater


Address: Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 357 3000

Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Herald Theatre is Auckland Live’s home for cutting-edge new performance and drama. It’s a more intimate venue with only 186 seats and has its own bar and foyer space for pre- or post-theatre functions, offering a unique experience for the audience.

The theatre stages various shows, including new theatre by local and international playwrights, international micro circuses, local dance performances, and even some of the more theatrical shows at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival.

Pro tip:
The Herald Theatre has a spacious foyer, a great place to meet friends, grab a drink from the bar, and chat about the show before or after the performance.

4. The Civic


Address: Cnr of Queen Street & 269-287 Wellesley Street West, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +6493092677

Operating hours: Box Office opens 90 minutes before the start of most performances

The Civic is one of seven surviving atmospheric theaters worldwide and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere. It features a stunning Moorish Revival architectural style and a domed ceiling painted to resemble a Southern Hemisphere night sky.

The Civic is a large theater with a capacity of 2,378 people. It’s suitable for hosting various events, from large-scale productions like musicals and concerts to smaller performances like plays and lectures.

Pro tip:
Arrive early to take in the theater’s beautiful architecture and soak in the atmosphere.The starlit ceiling is one of the theater’s most iconic features, so look up and take a moment to appreciate its beauty.

5. Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre


Address: 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 309 3600

Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre is the largest-tiered auditorium in New Zealand, with over 2,000 seats spread across three tiers. It’s the perfect venue for large-scale musicals, operas, and concerts.

The theater was opened in 1990 and was renamed in 2019 in honor of soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who opened the theater. The theater has attracted international stars, including Prince, Ed Sheeran, Anna Netrebko, and Tom Jones.

Pro tip:
Arrive early to soak in the theater’s grand atmosphere and architecture. You can also explore the Aotea Centre, which houses the theater, and enjoy the complex’s various restaurants, cafes, and bars.

6. Bruce Mason Centre


Address: The Promenade, Takapuna, Auckland 0624, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 309 3636

Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Bruce Mason Centre boasts six flexible spaces and two spacious foyers, allowing it to host many events, from intimate board meetings to large-scale conferences, concerts, and performances.

The theater features modern amenities, comfortable seating, and excellent acoustics, ensuring a top-notch experience for every visitor. It’s also fully accessible, with lifts, ramps, and accessible seating available for patrons with disabilities.

Pro tip:
The Bruce Mason Centre is now cashless, so ensure you have a credit or debit card for any bar or concession stand purchases. Before or after the show, take some time to explore and enjoy a delicious meal in the vibrant Takapuna neighborhood.

7. The Pump House Theatre


Address: 1 Killarney St, Takapuna, Auckland 0622, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 489 8300

Operating hours: Tuesday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Built in 1905, the PumpHouse Theatre started as a water pumping station and was transformed into a thriving arts center. This historical significance, coupled with its scenic location on the shores of Lake Pupuke, creates a captivating atmosphere.

The PumpHouse offers various productions, from contemporary plays and musicals to children’s theatre and comedy shows. The heart of the PumpHouse lies in its artist-led ethos, providing a platform for local and emerging talents.

Pro tip:
Arrive early to soak in the beautiful surroundings and explore Killarney Park, where the theater is located. You can also try the theater’s “Creative Talks” series, which features discussions from prominent figures from various creative fields. 

8. ASB Waterfront Theatre


Address: 138 Halsey Street, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 800 282 849

Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

The ASB Waterfront Theatre is home to the Auckland Theatre Company and hosts theater, dance, and film performances. The theater opened in 2016 and boasts a 675-seat auditorium with excellent acoustics and sightlines from every seat. 

It features a lobby, bar, and gallery space, making it a comfortable and inviting venue for all patrons. Located in the heart of the Wynyard Quarter, the theater is surrounded by restaurants, bars, and cafes, making it an excellent destination for a night out. 

Pro tip:
Enjoy the pre-show atmosphere. The theater’s lobby and bar are great places to relax and chat with friends before the performance.

9. Covert Theatre


Address: 51 Mackelvie St, Ponsonby, Auckland 1021, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 600 1877

Operating hours: Thursday to Sunday

The Covert Theatre is known for being New Zealand’s only full-time dedicated improv comedy theatre. They feature various improv comedy shows throughout the week, and their website allows you to browse upcoming events and purchase tickets. 

The theater is home to some of the country’s top improv performers, like The Improv Bandits, ensuring high-quality and hilarious shows.  The 86-seat theater creates a close and interactive atmosphere between the audience and performers.

Pro tip:
They have a fully licensed bar, so you can enjoy drinks while enjoying the show, adding to the relaxed and fun atmosphere.

10. Auckland Theatre Company


Address: 487 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden, Auckland 1024

Contact details: +64 9 309 0390

Operating hours: Tuesday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

The Auckland Theatre Company consistently produces high-quality productions that have garnered critical acclaim and awards, locally and internationally. It offers diverse shows, from classic plays to contemporary works, musicals to experimental pieces. 

The theater is committed to developing and showcasing New Zealand playwriting and stories. They offer various programs and initiatives that support the development of the next generation of theater artists, including actors, directors, writers, and designers. 

Pro tip:
Subscribing to the ATC season offers several benefits, including priority booking, discounted tickets, and access to exclusive events. This is a great way to ensure you get all the best productions.

11. Spark Arena


Address: 100 Quay Park, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 309 3636

Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Spark Arena is the largest indoor arena in New Zealand, which means it can host big-name artists and large-scale productions. It’s versatile and can be configured for various events, from concerts and sporting events to conventions and exhibitions. 

It’s located in a convenient location, in the heart of Auckland’s city center. This makes it easy for both locals and visitors to get to. The arena is close to Britomart Transport Centre and The Strand Station, making it easily accessible via public transport.

Pro tip:
Be sure to check out the 360° views from the top tier of the arena. It’s a great way to see the entire city of Auckland.

12. Q Theatre


Address: 305 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 309 6267

Operating hours: 

  • Tuesday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturday – 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Q Theatre is an independent, registered charity that features three intimate auditoriums hosting contemporary and offbeat plays. It’s known for supporting and promoting independent and innovative local artists.

Their main auditorium, Rangatira, boasts a state-of-the-art “flexi-form” design, which means the stage and seating can be reconfigured in various ways to suit the specific needs of each production, creating a more intimate and engaging experience for the audience.

Pro tip:
Before or after the show, consider grabbing a bite or drink at Citizen Q, the theater’s on-site cafe and bar. All profits from Citizen Q go directly towards supporting Q Theatre productions.

13. The Auckland Performing Arts Centre


Address: 100 Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland 1024, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 815 4333

Operating hours: Tuesday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC) is a non-profit organization prioritizing a nurturing and supportive environment for emerging and established artists. TAPAC runs nearly 2,000 performing arts classes annually for all ages and abilities. 

TAPAC hosts various events throughout the year, from theatrical productions and dance performances to workshops and community gatherings. The theater has a seating capacity of 127 to 160, creating an intimate and engaging audience atmosphere.

Pro tip:
Check out TAPAC’s upcoming events on their website or social media platforms. They offer diverse shows, and you might discover a hidden gem that piques your interest.

14. Artworks Theatre


Address: 2 Korora Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 372 2281

Operating hours: based on the schedule of upcoming events

Artworks Theatre has a main stage and auditorium but a smaller, more intimate space called “The Snug,” which can be used for various events like poetry readings, meetings, or small performances.

From plays and musicals to dance performances, comedy shows, live music, and even children’s theatre, there’s something for everyone at Artworks. The theatre is known for its welcoming and inclusive environment.

Pro tip:
Take some time to chat with other audience members and soak up the community atmosphere. You might even meet some performers or locals involved in the production.

15. Howick Little Theatre


Address: 12 New Street, Howick, Auckland 2014, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 534 1401

Operating hours: Box Office opens 45 minutes before each performance

Founded in 1954, Howick Little Theatre is one of Auckland’s foremost community theatres and a leading New Zealand company. It stages five main-house plays annually, attracting audiences from all over Auckland and the upper North Island.

The Howick Little Theatre stages five main productions yearly and offers acting classes for all ages with professional tutors. The theater’s program features diverse productions, from comedies and dramas to thrillers and adventures. 

Pro tip:
Howick Little Theatre offers acting classes for people of all ages, from six years old to adults. They also hold workshops with leading professionals from the theatre community, providing opportunities for local talent to learn and grow.

16. The Vic Theatre and Cinema


Address: 12 Victoria Rd, Devonport, Auckland 0624, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 376 0111

Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Built in 1912, The Vic Theatre and Cinema is the oldest operating purpose-built cinema in New Zealand, boasting a beautiful Art Deco style. The Vic screens independent films and hosts live performances, music concerts and comedy shows.

The Vic is a non-profit organization the Victoria Theatre Trust runs, ensuring the venue remains accessible and caters to local interests. The screening rooms are spacious yet retain a cozy atmosphere, perfect for an enjoyable watching experience.

Pro tip:
The Vic boasts a well-stocked bar serving craft beers, wines, and other beverages alongside a cafe offering coffee, snacks, and light meals. Enjoying a pre-movie drink or grabbing a bite to eat is a great way to enhance your experience at The Vic.

17. Auckland War Memorial Museum


Address: Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +6493090443

Operating hours: 

  • Weekdays – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Late night every Tuesday – 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM

The Auckland War Memorial Museum’s 199-seat tiered auditorium fosters a close and intimate connection between the audience and the performers, creating a more engaging and immersive experience.

Situated within the walls of a significant war memorial museum, the venue is steeped in history, adding a special layer of meaning to any event held there. For music lovers, a hand-crafted Fazioli piano, known for its exceptional quality and sound, is a major draw.

Pro tip:
With limited seating, arriving early secures your preferred spot and allows you to fully appreciate the historical ambiance of the venue before the event starts.

18. Auckland Art Gallery


Address: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 309 3773

Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Auckland Art Gallery offers a unique and beautiful setting for some special screening events. The Auditorium, a modern space within the gallery, can be used for film screenings and other multimedia presentations.

The gallery often hosts talks and lectures by artists, curators, and other experts in the art world. Occasionally, it hosts performances by musicians, dancers, or other artists. 

Pro tip:
The gallery can get crowded, so arrive early, especially for popular events. While waiting for the event, take your time and enjoy the art in the gallery. 

19. Mangere Arts Centre


Address: Corner Bader Drive and Orly Avenue, Māngere, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Contact details: 09 262 5789

Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Māngere Arts Centre is a vibrant hub for the local community, showcasing a diverse range of visual and performing arts, crafts, and cultural activities. They place a special focus on Maori and Pacific arts and culture.

It boasts a 230-seat theater space and provides a unique opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage of these communities through live performances. The center also offers additional spaces like galleries and a courtyard, making it a vibrant hub for artists.

Pro tip:
Since the theater prioritizes showcasing cultural diversity, familiarizing yourself with the performance’s background or themes beforehand can enhance your appreciation. This information might be available on the center’s website or social media pages.

20. Studio One Toi Tu


Address: 1 Ponsonby Road, Auckland 1011, New Zealand

Contact details: 09 376 3221

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Saturday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Studio One Toi Tu provides studios and galleries for artists of various disciplines. This includes studios for messy projects like ceramics and sculptures, open studios for cleaner practices, and individual spaces for focused work.

Studio One Toi Tu hosts workshops, events, and exhibitions, offering opportunities for the public to learn, connect, and appreciate various art forms. It provides a unique and multifaceted space for artistic exploration and community engagement.

Pro tip:
Explore the gallery spaces and current exhibitions. You might discover a new artistic style or gain a deeper appreciation for different mediums.

21. Te Oro


Address: 375a Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland 1023, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 623 1050

Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Te Oro is a multi-purpose arts center that provides a space for young people and the local community to learn, create, and celebrate the arts. It fosters a friendly and inclusive environment that supports artistic development.

The center boasts an impressive array of spaces, including performance and rehearsal spaces of various sizes, dance, drama, and music studios, music creation studios, visual arts workshops, general room hire options, and professional recording studios.

Pro tip:
Since Te Oro primarily hosts community events and productions, you’ll likely encounter a range of performances, from established artists to up-and-coming talents. Embrace the opportunity to discover something new and support local artists!

22. Dolphin Theatre


Address: 169 Spring Street, Onehunga, Auckland 1061, New Zealand

Contact details: 09 622 1702

Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Founded in 1962, the Dolphin Theatre is a pillar of the Onehunga community, providing a platform for local actors, directors, and playwrights to showcase their talents. It fosters a connection and belonging for those involved in productions and the audience.

The theater stages six productions yearly, offering a diverse mix of comedies, dramas, and other genres. With only 119 seats, the Dolphin Theatre provides an intimate and engaging theater experience. 

Pro tip:
The theater offers complimentary tea and coffee during the interval, making it an excellent opportunity to socialize with fellow theatergoers and discuss your expectations for the performance.

23. Hawkins Theatre


Address: 13 Ray Small Drive, Papakura, Auckland 1700, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 298 1133

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Film nights – 6:30 PM onwards

Hawkins Theatre is a purpose-built theatre in Papakura, Auckland that opened in 1990.

It has a seating capacity of 268 and hosts film screenings, dance and music performances, theatre productions, comedy shows, and community events.

The theater won a commendation for its Italianate form and large size in the 1990 NZIA awards. It’s also home to the Hawkins Youth Theatre Company, which offers drama workshops and performance opportunities for ages 8 to 18. 

Pro tip:
Take advantage of the opportunity to see performances by the Hawkins Youth Theatre Company or other local artists. This is a great way to support the local arts scene and discover new talent.

24. Lopdell Precint


Address: 418 Titirangi Road, Titirangi, Auckland 0604, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 817 2583

Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Lopdell Precinct is an arts and culture complex where you can catch live theatre productions, including local plays and even Shakespearean classics. The precinct houses art galleries showcasing local art and even hosts occasional film screenings.

The precinct is built around the historic Lopdell House, boasting Spanish Mission architecture and a rich history dating back to 1930. The precinct actively supports local artists and productions, providing a platform and a sense of community engagement.

Pro tip:
Explore the art galleries at Te Uru and The Upstairs Gallery before your performance. You can also grab a drink and a bite at the Deco Eatery within the precinct. 

25. Otara Music Arts Centre


Address: Otara Shopping Centre, 46 Fair Mall, Auckland

Contact details: 09 274 6400

Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Otara Music Arts Centre (OMAC) fosters a welcoming environment for individuals and groups to pursue their musical aspirations. It’s one of only two council-funded facilities in New Zealand that allows musicians to record professionally.

The main hall, equipped with high ceilings, a professional sound system, and staging facilities, serves as a platform for rehearsals, performances, and events. OMAC goes beyond music, acting as a community hub for artistic expression:

Pro tip:
Check their event listings: OMAC regularly hosts diverse events, including concerts, workshops, and cultural performances. Attending these events is a great way to experience the center’s unique atmosphere and support local artists.

26. Metro Theater


Address: 351 Massey Road, Mangere East, Auckland 1175, New Zealand

Contact details: 09 300 4000

Operating hours: By appointment

Mangere East Hall, also known as the Metro Theatre, offers a closer and more personal experience. The hall caters to events beyond theater productions, like workshops, rehearsals, meetings, weddings, and event functions.

The elaborate lattice ceilings transport you back to the 1920s, adding a touch of vintage elegance to your theater experience. Built in the 1920s, the theater reflects the “Charleston era” with its elaborate lattice ceilings.

Pro tip:
Due to the smaller size, seating might be limited, especially for popular shows. Arriving early ensures you get a good seat and soak in the theater’s unique atmosphere before the performance begins.

27. Auckland Town Hall


Address: 301-317 Queen St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details:  +64 9 357 3013

Operating hours: Box Office is open 90 minutes before the start of most performances.

The Auckland Town Hall is an Edwardian building known for its beautiful architecture, excellent acoustics, and two main performance spaces – the Great Hall and the Concert Chamber.

The Great Hall seats up to 1,529 people and is a popular venue for classical music performances. The Concert Chamber can seat up to 200 people and is used for chamber music recitals, jazz performances, and lectures.

Pro tip:
The Great Hall has three tiers, and the best seats for acoustics are in the center of the stalls or the dress circle. There’s a cafe in the Town Hall, and you can bring your food and drinks to enjoy.