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Venues

Castrol’s Garage

Also known as:

Location: 88 Victoria Street, Central Christchurch

Current Status: No longer running as a venue

Active as a live music venue: 2015 – 2016

Bar Manager: –

Bookings:

Website:

Capacity: –

Short-lived pizza restaurant, bar and live music venue, on the corner site of the long running and beloved Gordon Smith and Son’s Fruiterers. The venue side of the bar was a little on the shallow side and with doors opening to an outside courtyard on the busy revitalized post-Earthquake Victoria street, it wasn’t long before the venue encountered noise complaints.

No Exit at Castrol’s Garage

However in the short period it did function as a venue I saw (and partook in!) some pretty good shows, the stage well set up with a permanent drum-kit and a decent PA with the sound-desk located nearby.

History

2014: Castrol’s Garage opens on the site of the former Gordon Smith and Son’s Fruiterers.

2015: Bar and other facilities completed, Castrol’s becomes a live music venue.

2016: Site converts Pizza bar to ‘The serious sandwich’ and live music events dry up, the site eventually closes.

Contact Details

Links

https://www.facebook.com/CastrolsGarage/ [Facebook]

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Venues

The Palladium Niteclub

Also known as: The “Getladium”, Illusions, The Dolls House

Location: Chancery Lane, Central Christchurch

Current Status: Demolished

Active as a live music venue: 1986 – 1996

Bar Manager: –

 

Capacity: 800

All-Ages: No

The Palladium was a sprawling upstairs nightclub in Chancery Lane in Central Christchurch, with a massive 800 person capacity and 24 hour liquor license.

Opening in 1986

History

  • 1986: Opened in Chancery Lane, incorporating a full laser lightshow, a 24 hour liquor license, a large capacity of 800, and resident band Big Game Hunters.
  • 1996: Shaka Groove end their run as the venues last resident band.
  • 2000: John Stanton takes over management, renames it Illusions.
  • 2001: Goes in to receivership, sold to David Henderson, the nightclub then re-themed and re-branded as The Dolls House revue bar.
  • 2010: Damaged and then demolished after the Canterbury Earthquakes

 

Links

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Venues

Creation

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also known as: Metro Cinemas

Location: 103-5 Worcester Street, Central Christchurch

Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake

Active as a live music venue: 2002 – 2006

Capacity: Around 300?

Excellent multi-use space established by the Therapeutic Arts Trust in 2000 – Ciaran Fox was originally involved before Adam Hayward joined the board in 2001 and took over directorship in 2002.

Exterior of Creation – from Kete Christchurch / Darren Schroeder

The entire compound was composed of a few parts which served quite a few purposes:

  • The main brick-lined hall-space, which retained the projection screen behind the stage – formerly the Metro Cinema. Run by Marcus Winstanley until 2005, with Joseph Veale taking over until Creation closed in 2006.
  • A foyer used as an office, ticket sales and retail gallery run by Cas Simonsen. The first floor functioned as a shop housing retailers like Kate Wyrd’s Wyrd Clothing store, and the top floor was a drop in and artist studio.
  • A separate building down-stairs was a concrete bunker used as a band practice space, Project Legit’s graffiti workshop (managed by Miriama McDonald from 2004 – 2006) and at one stage a small gallery .

From the very beginning Creation was an All-Ages friendly venue, hosting early shows for Out of Kilter and show-casing many of Christchurch’s up-and-coming bands.

Creation’s Tiny Bar – from Kete Christchurch / Darren Schroeder.

Though they did have a small bar for limited alcohol sales, the venue existed on government funding – housing the Artist Wage (until the Ministry of Social Development was disbanded in 2006), and as such was opened up for a wide variety of creative exploits. From live music and movie screenings (often with the Canterbury Film Society) to dance, art, and graffiti.

Carpark and entrance to the Metro Cinema which became Creation, from Kete Christchurch

Creation’s main venue was previously the cinema itself, and as such had a large screen behind the stage. The stage itself was massive – one of the biggest in Christchurch, with the PA system well to the sides and fold-back speakers lining the front.

The space was flanked with long curtains covering a brick interior and there was a sound-desk around 2/3rd’s of the way back from the stage. The venue usually had excellent sound – no surprise considering that over the course of the venues lifetime Joseph Veale and Marcus Winstanley (both excellent local sound guys) were the in-house managers.

Creation hosted a whole swag of live shows with varying degrees of success. I saw touring bands play to an empty hall (excellent Napier/Hamilton pop-hardcore group Amy Racecar and spazzy Auckland group Body Corporate), local groups absolutely pack the place out (Christchurch’s own spazz kings Leper Ballet), even a handful of international performers (The Mountain Goats, Lou Barlow, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) with thoroughly mixed audiences.

The Renderers at Creation, 2004

One of my proudest moments was a show I put together at Creation back in 2004 – I’d become friends with Mary-Rose and Brian Crook of The Renderers and managed to persuade them to put on a show along with The Terminals – who Brian was still playing guitar for at the time.

Though I figured this was a momentous show, things took on an even greater magnitude when I got a call a couple days before the show –  Hamish Kilgour had heard about the show and politely asked if he could join the bill! Absolutely stunned me – plus it was a terrific gig.

Hamish Kilgour at Creation, 2004

Unfortunately Creation followed a similar pattern to most venues that are dependent on NZ funding – with the disbanding of the Ministry of Social Development in 2006, Creation struggled to maintain financial viability. Only half a decade after it was opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark, Christchurch’s best multi-faceted community space now had to close.

Thankfully Creation signaled the beginning of a new era in Christchurch live venues – paving the way for many subsequent venues and promoters (such as All-Ages group Red Panda) to get moving with their own shows.

History

  • 1986: The Metro Cinemas opens at 103 Worcester Street – one of 3 cinema’s within the same stretch of Worcester Street (along with the Mayfair and the Little Odeon).
  • 2002: Creation opens as a shared-used performance space, though the screen remains. The Christchurch Film Society continues to show films here.
  • 2006: Creation closes due to a lack of continued funding.
  • 2010 / 2011: Damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes, eventually demolished to make way for a car park.

Links

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Venues

Gladstone Hotel

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also known as: Gladstone Tavern, Durham Arms Hotel, DB Gladstone, The Christchurch Club, The Devonshire Arms, The Glad

Location: 328 Durham Street, Central Christchurch

Current Status: Demolished in 2005, replaced by commercial buildings

Active as a live music venue: 1971 – 1990

Bar Manager: –

Capacity: –

The DB Gladstone at its peak in the 1980s. Photo by Darryl McKenzie

The Gladstone has the doubtful distinction of being the last hotel in Christchurch to host a post mortem. The examination was carried out in July of 1901 by a Dr. William Diamond, who told the coroner that there was extreme difficulty working in such cramped and unsuitable quarters as those provided by a hotel and he sincerely hoped that something would be done about it soon. His wish was granted, for on that very day the eminent architect Mr. S Hurst-Seager, designer of the new morgue, had handed the keys to the completed building to the City Council.

– Stephen Symons’ ‘The Watering Holes’

The Durham Arms prior to demolition (Photo from Fairfax article on lost venues)

History

  • 1856: First Meeting of the Christchurch Club in the original building on the corner of Durham and Peterborough Streets’, Owned by George Woodman. The 1st Liquor in Christchurch is acquired a couple months later.
  • 1862: The Christchurch Club moves to Latimer Square, the original building becomes the Devonshire Arms
  • 1875: Christchurch Hotels are forced to accept cadavers prior to burial.
  • 1876: Original building is replaced with a new larger, 2-Story Hotel under John Barrett’s ownership and christened the Gladstone Hotel.
  • 1901: Christchurch’s last autopsy performed at a public house is done at the Gladstone, just days before the City morgue is opened.
  • 1970: The Gladstone is purchased by DB Breweries.
  • 1971: Under Gary Lings’ proprietorship the Gladstone becomes a popular live music venue.
  • 1985: A proposed development on the site fails to eventuated when funding falls through, accommodation is closed and the Hotel becomes Gladstone Tavern.
  • 1990: Renamed the Durham Arms.

Links

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Venues

Provincial Lounge

Also known as: Provincial Hotel, Provincial Larder

Location:

Current Status: Demolished

Active as a live music venue: – 2009?

Bar Manager: Mike Bare (Late 1990’s – Early 2000’s)

Capacity: –

All-Ages: No

The Provincial Lounge was a traditional Kiwi Tavern with a long history:

The licence for the hotel was granted to Robert Wagner on 1 May 1865. During the earlier years there were two licences, one for the hotel and another – a wine and beer licence – for an eating-house known as the Provincial Larder. The licensee from 1898 was D. Edmonds. This building was condemned by the Licensing Committee in 1902 and rebuilt.

Christchurch Libraries

Provincial Hotel, circa 1902 (photo from Christchurch Libraries)

Michael Bare was a notable publican who ran the Provincial Hotel with his partner during the late 1990’s till the early 2000’s. They brought live music back to the old tavern, fitting out the left pub with a decent stage and a sizable PA that belonged to regular Chris ‘The Hippy’, even bringing their own tap beer (‘Bare Beer’, with a shot of Mike’s bare ass on the label).

During this period the left-side of the Hotel was known as the Provincial Lounge and drew large crowds for regular Thursday Night ‘Lounge Night’ events hosted by appropriately decked out DJ’s Bella Caramella and Miss Lilly, plus emphasized the show-casing of up-and-coming under ground Christchurch acts.

The Provincial was a hot ticket during the late 1990’s heyday – from complete unknown local acts right through to legendary Flying Nun bands such as Bailter Space and The Clean crammed in huge sweaty crowds. Bare would eventually go on to manage The Jetset Lounge.

I have a handful of particularly fond memories of the Provincial:

The Clean’s return to Christchurch in 2000, with the crowd hanging out the windows and crammed in to every available space – I was pressed hard up against Robert Scott’s keyboard, with Chris Knox to my immediate right.

The loudest show I have ever attended was at The Provincial. Thanks to a combination of Into the Void (drummer Mark Whyte playing ‘The loudest drum-kit in existence’), the mammoth PA stacks and Marcus Winstanley on the sound-desk. Marcus had been up all night mixing a rave so he was fairly hard of hearing already – when Whyte’s double-kick kicked in during set opener ‘Motorbike’ I could feel the beater pounding away directly on my ear-drums – they didn’t stop ringing for 3 days!

I was a regular at the Thursday night ‘Lounge’ nights – in fact although the venue closed for several years after Bare moved on to the Jetset Lounge, my named remained within the building, on the top of the Limbo competitors board! Decked to the nines in gaudy retro clothing, I’d dance through the night with a whole swag of regulars every week.

History

  • 1865: Original Hotel acquired liquor license, trading on the corner of Cashel and Barbadoes Street.
  • 1902: Original building is condemned and rebuilt

Links