Rooms and Halls
The Flora MacKenzie (McKenzie) Room
Flora MacKenzie trained as a nurse and also became an accomplished dressmaker. For many years she ran a boutique, Ninette, in Vulcan Lane, which specialised in bridal gowns and was reputedly patronised by an affluent clientele which included cabinet ministers’ wives. She sketched her own creations, often in watercolours. (After her death, framed dress sketches by Flora MacKenzie were sold in an Auckland gallery, often, it was claimed, to former clients of her other business venture – the infamous Ring Terrace brothel in Ponsonby.)
Through her reputation as a Madam, Flora MacKenzie became an Auckland identity. Her home was legendary, prized for its art and antiques and rumoured to have a rotating bed upstairs with panoramic harbour views. She has been described as ‘a flamboyant, happy-go-lucky woman … who did not care a damn about what the so-called respectable people thought of her’.
Flora died in 1982 at the age of 79.
To hire the Flora MacKenzie Room enquire via our Venue Hire page
Freda Stark Hall
Freda Beatrice Stark (27 March 1910 – 19 March 1999) was a New Zealand dancer. During the Second World War, she was a famed dancer at Auckland’s Wintergarden cabaret and nightclub, and a favourite of American troops stationed there, where she earned the title “Fever of the Fleet.”
After leaving school, Stark worked as a clerical worker by day, and danced as “L’Etoile” during the evenings, and her repertoire included tap, high kicks, tumbles and hula. During the 1930s, she also learned classical ballet, as steps toward an advanced examination certificate at New Zealand’s Academy of Dance, which she acquired in the late thirties.
Inspired by a scene in an American movie, she danced painted in gold, clothed only in a G-string and feather headdress. The paint took five hours to apply and apparently kept her warm during her numerous performances. Freda, who revelled in the attention she received, was paid handsomely to appear scantily clad as the star attraction of the revue. American troops in Auckland for rest and recreation often booked the entire Wintergarden with band and floor show.
To hire the Freda Stark Hall enquire via our Venue Hire page
The Gluepot Room
The Gluepot tavern was Ponsonby’s most celebrated pub. Its name is thought to have been coined by local women whose husbands were routinely ‘stuck’ there drinking. In the 1970s it became a popular music venue, hosting well-known local bands such as Hello Sailor, Toy Love, and the Headless Chickens. Mick Jagger and Peter Garrett also played there. During his performance Garrett leapt high into the air, knocking a hole in the ceiling with his head. In the mid-1990s the Gluepot was closed and converted into shops and apartments. (https://www.teara.govt.nz/en/auckland-places/page-11)
To hire the Gluepot Room enquire via our Venue Hire page
The Johnny Mitchell Hall
Johnny was a seaman, watersider and trade unionist based in Freemans Bay. He died in 1990.
To hire the Johnny Mitchell Hall enquire via our Venue Hire page