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Bruce Mason Centre welcomes the best seats in the house

Published: 23 February 2018
Auckland Live Visitor Experience manager, Dave Bavage

Hundreds of new seats have been getting standing ovations from theatregoers after being unveiled at the Bruce Mason Centre on Auckland's North Shore.

751 seats have been replaced at the Takapuna landmark with brand new, high-spec seating as part of a much anticipated refurbishment of the 20-year-old venue.

Auckland Live, which manages the Bruce Mason Centre, says that after two decades of wear and tear, the old seats were no longer the 'best seats' in the house.

Auckland Live Visitor Experience manager, Dave Bavage, says many were broken with bent frames, and lumps and bumps in the cushions. Complaints from the public about the state of the seating had also been on the increase.

"The new seats are a joy to experience. Not only are they brand-spanking new, they're designed to higher specifications and align with international theatre standards," says Dave Bavage.

"We've also used the opportunity to introduce new seat numbering as well as theatre door lettering, a fresh paint job and re-varnished floors and doors, putting the BMC on a par with our other venues at the Auckland Town Hall, Aotea Centre and The Civic."

Finding a new lease of life

While the bulk of the former seats have been put out to pasture, 230 of them have found a new lease of life at Ōrewa's Centrestage Theatre.

"We put the best of the old seats up for free on Facebook hoping they would attract a community theatre or similar, and we're delighted they've found a welcoming home at Centrestage," says Mr Bavage.

"Theatre companies like Centrestage run predominantly on the passion of volunteers, so it's been really special to gift them the seats to help them keep the arts alive and well in the local community."