Opened by Premier Richard Seddon, this large wooden building has been one of Whanganui’s finest entertainment venues for more than a century.
The Wanganui Opera House was built in response to an upsurge of theatrical entertainment in Victorian New Zealand, and to a decision by the Wanganui Borough Council to mark Queen Victoria’s record reign.
A public competition for a suitable design attracted nine entries and was won by Wellington architect George Stevenson. The foundation stone was laid by the mayor of Wanganui, Alexander Hatrick, on 13 July 1899, and the building was officially opened on 9 February 1900 by the premier, Richard Seddon.
The Opera House has a Category 1 listing from Heritage New Zealand.