History

Everybody's Theatre is run by a Trust. The Trust was formed in 1980 to run the community owned Theatre. It is an Incorperated Society and became a Charity in 2010.


Timeline & Photo Gallery


  • Originally the theatre was Thorpe and Callahan's general store, which was built between 1912 and 1914.
  • In 1920 it was reported in the Hawera Star that
  • “Carpenters have commenced extensive alterations to Mr J. C. O’Rorke’s building. It is proposed to extend the building some 40 ft back. Two up-to-date shops will be provided on the frontage, and the back part is to be fitted up as a picture theatre. A large passageway between the shops gives entrance to the theatre from the Main Street.”
  • Interim Steering Committee; Mac Culvert, C Hunt, A Harvey (Treasurer), and D Norris (Secretary) negotiating and fund-raising.
  • The Everybody's Trust is formed, and Mr Leo Hickey and Mac Culvert are named as the trustees.
  • $55,000 was the agreed sale price of the theatre to the trust.
  • $20,000 was borrowed from the Bank of New South Wales.
  • $35,000 was donated through gifts and debentures from the local community. Each year debentures were repaid from operating profits, all repaid by 1994.
  • Mr L (Boss) Whiting ran the theatre until his retirement, then his son Bruce took over the reigns.
  • In 1980 Bruce tried to sell the theatre so he could retire. Because there was no interest and Bruce had decided to close down the theatre, a group of local people called a public meeting on the 23rd April 1980 to investigate options, 500 to 600 people attended.
  • Since 1980 the theatre is run by volunteers - projectionists, cashiers, ushers, managers, cleaners.
  • Original Trustee for Everybody's Theatre, Mr Leo Hickey, who offered to be Manager for 6 months, retires after 18 years service in 1998. He passed away in 2018.
  • 1999 Ian Wither retired after 13 years as Secretary/Treasurer, but 18 years total on the committee.
  • 1999,  Annette Wither retired after 18 years on committee.
  • 2010 - Robert Fisher passed away after 30 years actively being involved with the theatre as a Projectionist, Chairman, Committee member.
  • Kath Murray an active usher retired after 19 years, in 2011.
  • 2011 Bev Henderson announced retirement after 28 years on the committee, president, cashier and cleaner and has been made our life member.
  • Graham Dodd, a current projectionist, involved since 1986, prints the flyers for distribution at a greatly discounted rate.
  • Fred Schultz had a long involvement with the theatre as an usher,  passed away in 2014.
  • Debbie Campbell, Maree Drought, Graham Dodd, Kim Gatenby, Shane Butler, Cormack Hughson-How, Aretha Lemon, Mike Langford and Len Pentelow are our current projectionist.