Theatre Royal – Raetihi

Raetihi is a historic town in the central North Island of New Zealand. It is located 11 kilometres west of Ohakume.

Founded in 1893, Raetihi originally relied on the Whanganui River for access. Nearly 15 years later, the town finally connected by road to Wanganui. The great fire of 1918 was a terrible setback to many businesses and residents in Raetihi. The loss of numerous mills slowed the timber industry but it continued successfully into the 1940s.

The Theatre Royal, built in 1915 and designed by Thomas Battle, a well-known Wanganui architect, is the oldest theatre in New Zealand, as well as being the oldest theatre in the Southern Hemisphere.

Recognised and registered as a historical building, the theatre is currently enjoying an ongoing process of renovation and refurbishments.

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