His Majesty’s Theatre

His Majesty’s Theatre was completed in 1902 to designs by the Australian William Pitt with local firm Edward Mahoney & Sons.

A permit for its demolition was issued on 31 December 1987 (reportedly after hours), and its destruction began in early 1988.

Protestors maintained a constant vigil at the site, demonstrations being attended by Mayor Dame Cath Tizard and then Minister of Conservation Helen Clark.

Support even came from Prince Charles, but the building was leveled anyway. The intense publicity brought the preservation of historic buildings to wide public attention. Pacer-Kerridge went into receivership in 1992 and the site remained vacant for many years. It now holds the City Life Apartments.

The only real upside to the demolition was that the excavations of the old Theatre produced one of the most productive archaeological sites from 19th Century Auckland. The ceramics collection is one of the most important analyzed for NZ sites.