The Meteor


The Meteor Theatre was gifted to the One Victoria Trust in 2014. 


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Clarence Street Theatre


The Clarence Street Theatre was gifted to the Clarence Street Theatre Trust in 2014.


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Founders Theatre


Founders Theatre was closed for safety reasons in 2016. With the Waikato Regional Theatre set to open in late 2025, the city and region will get a new world-class performing arts space.


Founders Theatre will be removed and transformed into a multi-purpose park and community performance space. An exciting opportunity to shape a green and vibrant central city, the park will include purpose-built facilities to meet the needs of the community and include special interpretation of its historic significance, the re-instatement of its fountains and space for open air performances.

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Founders Theatre closes.



Community Engagement – 49% say refurbish, 34% say building new. BUT if Council caps its spend at $20 million, 58% say build new.



Council accepts Momentum Waikato’s proposal for a brand-new theatre – the Waikato Regional Theatre.

Council will pay $25 million.



Community engagement happened.


December to June 2018

Discussion with groups on other potential use (no viable options).



Community engagement on West Town Belt Masterplan. 84% want building removed and multi-purpose park built.



Council adopts the West Town Belt Masterplan – a new vision to open up this54ha band of green space.



The Government confirms $12 million for the new Waikato Regional Theatre ($75 million), supported by $25 million of Hamilton Council funding and funds from private contributors.



Elected Members decide to progress the project to remove Founders Theatre.



Funding approved as part of the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan funded activity – the Founders Theatre site upgrade project ($4.008 million in Year 2).

A community group bid to rejuvenate Founders is submitted.



Council Community Committee recommends Founders Theatre building to be removed and transformed into parkland.
Click here for more.



Council approves Founders Theatre site transformation can begin.
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A community group proposal to rejuvenate Founders Theatre is declined due to financial viability.

In the heart of the West Town Belt

The Founders site sits in the West Town Belt, a 54ha a band of open space stretching from Lake Rotoroa (Hamilton Lake) to the Waikato River, so decisions made about the site affect the whole area.  

The building will be removed to create a new community park space that respects the rich history of Founders Theatre, celebrates and promotes the culture and arts sector, and enhances open space opportunities.  

Find out more about the West Town Belt Master Plan

Waikato Regional Theatre


Council is proudly partnering with the Waikato Regional Property Trust and Momentum Waikato to bring Hamilton a new world-class, multipurpose performing arts centre.


Located at the South End of Victoria Street and next to Embassy Park the theatre will feature a 1300-seat auditorium, with circle balconies and flexible staging, able to host drama, kapa haka, orchestral concerts, rock-pop-and-rap gigs, musicals, ballet, opera and community ceremonies.


Construction completion is expected 2025.


Find out more about the Theatre and sign up to Share the Stage Updates



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Last updated 23 February 2024