Harbour Light Theatre

24 London Street, Lyttelton
Lyttelton, Canterbury
Through the middle years of the 20th century, a night out at the "pictures" was the highlight of the week for many New Zealand families. The Harbour Light Cinema was a reminder of the place of movie-going in New Zealand life until it fell victim to earthquake activity in 2011.
The Harbourlight was built in 1916 and opened in March 1917. The Christchurch architects J.S. and M.J. Guthrie designed a local variant of the overseas "picture palace". The small towers, surmounted by domes, were reminiscent of Spanish Mission, an appropriately (with Hollywood already a centre of movie-making) Californian style. The building also had art nouveau detailing, which is relatively rare in New Zealand. A suitably theatrical building for uses which in its early days included vaudeville as well as movies.

Though it is no longer a cinema, the building continues to play an important role in Lyttelton's entertainment life. - JW

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