Topic: Opening Of The Municipal Buildings 1960

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Local Government in Kawerau took another step forward with the official opening of its municipal buildings in 1960 which included Council Offices, Town Hall/Movie Theatre and a Supper Room.

The official opening of the Kawerau Town Hall and other municipal buildings was held 15 June 1960 with many dignitaries and members of the community in attendance.

The front two storeyed portion of the building facing Islington Street, contained the Municipal Offices. On the ground floor was the Main Office, Town Clerk's Office, Filing and Records Office and Stationery Store. On the second floor was the Council Chambers, Mayor's Office, Inspector's Office and the Engineer's Office. Immediately to the rear of the Offices was the Foyer of the Town Hall, off this foyer there was a large sweet stall, manager's office, ticket office and rest rooms. Above the foyer and between the second storey of the offices and the main hall was the projection room for the showing of films. The entrance to the Hall Foyer was off Ranfurly Court.

The main hall opened off the foyer by means of four swing doors, the floor boards of the hall are 3"x11/4" Heart Matai which was not covered except for carpet runners in the aisles when the hall was operated as a theatre. At the southern end of the hall is a large stage with fly gallery, and at the time of building probably the most up-to-date stage in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty area. Under the stage is a large chair store where the chairs can be stored when the hall is required for a ball or indoor sports.

On the south-east corner of the building are four dressing rooms, two on the ground floor and two upstairs. The supper room (northern end of the old cafeteria building) is connected to the main hall by a passageway on the south-west corner. The main hall seated approximately 750 people, but when films were shown approximately only 660 people could be accommodated.
The use of Pinus Radiata, the majority of which was milled by the Tasman Company, is a feature of the building. Pine was used as a structural timber, and also for finishing work, which consisted in the main of ship-lap boarding and plywood panels.

The Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the municipal buildings ran September 2010-August 2011.


Opening Of The Municipal Buildings 1960