A dream come true – The Christchurch Town Hall turns 48

CoverA dream come true ... This was true of the first opening of our beloved Town Hall and again when it reopened last year.

The Christchurch Town Hall originally opened on 30 September 1972 - 48 years ago today.

It's hard to overestimate the importance of the Christchurch Town Hall to Christchurch music lovers. This was bought home to me when I attended a concert by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra on the day after it reopened following earthquake repairs. I’ve never attended a concert with such a jubilant atmosphere. Every seat was taken and you could feel happiness radiating from the audience.

After years of orchestral events shoe-horned into small venues with good acoustics, or somewhat larger ones with very poor acoustics, and everything in between - there was a great sense of coming home.

Radio New Zealand reported at the time in Audience erupts with joy as CSO reopens the Christchurch Town Hall:

On Saturday night the prolonged cheers and applause that greeted the Christchurch Symphony’s CEO Gretchen La Roche’s “welcome back” announcement was truly overwhelming. It was just so great to be there!

….And before the final shattering chord had died away, the entire audience was on its feet cheering, not only for the music that so graphically describes the Roman army as they arrive home in triumph, but for our own homecoming to a venue that truly signifies a major step forward since February 2011.

The joy of its return has not dimmed, although sadly the pandemic has played havoc with its schedules. Every postponement or cancellation is another reminder of how precious our music and our Town Hall is to us. The events held there lift our spirits and bring us together as a community. For me a return to normal at the Town Hall is a return to normal for me too.

Opening of the Christchurch Town Hall - 30 September 1972

Opening of Christchurch Town Hall
Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision Excerpts from the broadcast of the opening ceremony for the new Christchurch Town Hall. 1972.

Opening of the new Town Halll. 25 September 1972. Christchurch Star archive. In copyright. CCL-StarP-02779A
Opening of the new Town Hall. 25 September 1972. Christchurch Star archive. In copyright. CCL-StarP-02779A
Jack Ferrier at the opening of Christchurch Town Hall. 30 September 1972. Christchurch Star archive. In copyright. CCL-StarP-02784A
Jack Ferrier at the opening of Christchurch Town Hall. 30 September 1972. Christchurch Star archive. In copyright. CCL-StarP-02784A

More information about the Christchurch Town Hall

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