Go back­stage at the Civic

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - HUGH COLLINS

The se­crets and nos­tal­gia of the

Civic Theatre are set to be re­vealed with tours be­ing of­fered to the pub­lic.

The his­toric and pres­ti­gious build­ing in down­town Auck­land will be open to 45 minute guided tours that’ll give people a chance to ex­plore the build­ing’s 88-year his­tory.

Open­ing in 1929, the Civic’s east­ern styled de­sign and art­work was orig­i­nally in­tended to make people feel as if they had es­caped Auck­land to a for­eign land.

Auck­land Live’s Bryce Gib­son, who is set to be­come a Civic guide, said he fell in love with the build­ing when he first vis­ited in 1969.

‘‘I’ve al­ways been fas­ci­nated by the build­ing. People see it and they don’t un­der­stand why it looks like it did, how it evolved and its his­tory,’’ Gib­son said.

‘‘Those are things that I’ve picked up, been in­ter­ested in and I’d like to share with people.’’

Gib­son said the Civic had al­ways been a place that could trans­port people from a rainy Auck­land day into a ‘‘neon-lit won­der­land’’.

The 2300 seat theatre had a $42 mil­lion restora­tion in the late 90s.

The tour would grant ac­cess to parts of the theatre usu­ally re­served for per­form­ers and tech­ni­cians.

Auck­land Live di­rec­tor Rob­bie McCrae said de­mand for the tours has been grow­ing.

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