Restora­tion a mam­moth task

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By ALAS­TAIR LYNN

More than 640 hours of work has gone into the St James Theatre, and there’s more to come.

The St James Char­i­ta­ble Trust spent four years push­ing for its restora­tion since closing in 2007 and work is well un­der way.

Each stroke of the brush brings the project one step closer to com­ple­tion but there are a num­ber of com­pli­cated pieces to fix to re­turn the theatre to its for­mer glory.

St James restora­tion artist Keron Smith has been tasked with the mam­moth project.

‘‘It has been hard but it is very unique work,’’ she says.

‘‘Restor­ing this her­itage build­ing is so im­por­tant for per­form­ing arts in Auck­land.’’

It’s not the first restora­tion project the Auck­land Cen­tral res­i­dent has been in­volved in.

‘‘I had the op­por­tu­nity to work at the Civic 15 years ago,’’ she says.

‘‘I’ve al­ways been in­volved in some kind of art. I wanted to be in­volved in the St James.’’

She finds her­self dan­gling from scaf­fold­ing in the St James foyer on a daily ba­sis and there is no place she would rather be.

‘‘I’m just trans­form­ing this amaz­ing theatre back to how it was to give it the re­spect it de­serves.’’

Smith es­ti­mates there’s at least an­other three years of work left on the project.

St James restora­tion artist Keron Smith has put in some long hours but there is still plenty more work to be done.

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