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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

Key dates

1897 Otago Agricultural Hall opened.
1902 The building was redeveloped into a theatre. It re-opened late in 1902 as His Majesty’s Theatre.
1972 Most of the theatre’s mechanical elements were moved to the Regent Theatre as part of its conversion from a cinema to a theatre in 1973.
1975 Demolition of the theatre’s lobby took place. The seating was removed and the floor levelled to convert the building into a store for Thames Transport.
1983 The building was returned to public use as a restaurant and nightclub by Sam Chin. The balcony was replaced or heavily altered and the stage changed. The porch and the Sammy’s neon sign were added, and the kitchen and bars flanking the stage introduced.
1980s – 2000s Sammy’s became known as an iconic Dunedin music venue.
2017 The DCC purchased the Sammy’s building.

Recent use

Sammy’s was known as an iconic Dunedin music venue. It played an important role in Dunedin’s music scene from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, and to a lesser extent between 2011 and 2016. It contributed to the career development of many nationally and internationally known Dunedin musicians by providing a ‘step up’ from pub and club concerts. It has also been an important part of Dunedin’s touring infrastructure for national and international artists in a range of music genres, especially rock music and EDM.

A more detailed history - The Sammy's Building History and Heritage can be downloaded from the related information section.

Related information

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