Celebrate 90 magical years of Civic jewels

20 Feb 2020

To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the opening of the Civic Theatre and City Hall, a first ever ‘access all areas’ tour will be offered to the general public on Sunday 1 March.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the event was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the historic pasts and bright futures of both the Civic Theatre and City Hall.

Civic Theatre and City Hall under construction.
“City Hall and the Civic Theatre are beautiful buildings which are part of the cultural and civic fabric of our city,” Councillor Nelmes said.

“They are owned by and maintained for the people of Newcastle. Our 90th anniversary celebrations are an opportunity to show residents and visitors aspects of both venues they have never seen before.”

The event kicks off in Wheeler Place at midday, with a host of free, fun activities, including an aerial circus show, circus skills workshops, live music including a funky brass band, giant wooden games and puzzles, face painting and air brush tattoos.

Manager Civic Services Delia O’Hara with Civic Theatre Manager Leonie Wallace and the Lord Mayor.

The Civic Digest café will be open for business and the art deco Civic Bar will provide somewhere to relax with music performed by talented local musicians throughout the afternoon.

“After the official launch in Wheeler Place, guests are invited to come on special behind-the-scenes guided tours of both City Hall and the Civic Theatre, running between 12.30pm and 3.30pm,” Manager Civic Services Delia O’Hara said.

“Bookings are not necessary, but we advise you to be early, so you don’t miss out.

“On the Civic Theatre tour, you will go up onto the stage and into the backstage areas, normally off limits to the public. You will hear about what goes on behind-the-scenes, and while on stage a range of leading local Newcastle drama, dance and musical theatre companies will provide a rare insight into the secrets of staging a production – from auditions through to tech runs. This program is presented in collaboration with the City of Newcastle Drama Association.

“The City Hall guided tours will take guests through all three levels of the building – including the Lord Mayor’s office and Council Chambers – giving visitors an insight into the many uses of the building over the past 90 years and major events which have taken place.

“In the Cummings Room, we will present an historical exhibition about both venues, including a rarely seen silent film commissioned locally in the 1930s, and local historian Sue Ryan will be on hand from 1pm-2pm to answer questions about the history of both buildings.

“Guests are also welcome to visit the Concert Hall where, between 12.30pm and 3.30pm, some of our most talented local musicians will present the ‘Showcasing the Steinway’ program.”