Jenny May - Architectural Historian, Heritage Management Services

The Majestic Theatre

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… the building had a Hispano-Moorish interior with an elaborate ceiling designed to evoke the night sky with lights and decorations, this was very much an American influence which had come in the 1920s.

Jenny May


Opened on 1st March 1930 The Majestic Theatre was built for John Fuller & Sons and was leased to Christchurch Cinemas Ltd. Billed as ‘The Showplace of Christchurch’, the exterior was an Art Deco style containing three floors of offices, known as Majestic House.

In 1946, it was sold to the Kerridge-Odeon chain, and later that year, it was badly damage by a fire. It was renovated to the designs of architect Harry Francis Willis. In the 1960’s, live stage shows became popular at the Majestic Theatre, with ‘Startime Spectacular’ running for quite some time, and also appearances by pop groups from Great Britain, including The Kinks, The Dave Clark Five and Manfred Mann.  In 1964 The Beatles played their only concert in Christchurch at the Majestic – this was their final New Zealand concert.

The Majestic Theatre closed on 28th August 1970, and was converted into a nightclub, named Moby Dick’s Nite Spot.  Six years later it was again badly damaged by fire and the night club closed.  It was later owned by the Christchurch Revival Fellowship Church.

  • Photo from Christchurch City Council
  • Photo from Christchurch City Council
  • Photo by Doc Ross
  • Photo by Doc Ross

Building information

The Former Majestic Theatre Corner Manchester and Lichfield Streets. Architect: S & A Luttrell Art deco style Opened 11 March 1930