About Us

Did you know?

We are not a privately owned business. Malthouse Costumes is owned by the Malthouse Theatre Trust and any profit that is generated by us helps with the continuing preservation of the Malthouse and covers the annual running costs and maintenance of the building.

The Malthouse is also home to Canterbury Children’s Theatre Inc, a voluntary, amateur theatre group that performs plays for children and enables young directors and budding playwrights to increase their knowledge and experience in live theatre. Canterbury Children’s Theatre has had a presence in Christchurch since 1953 and has been in residence at the Malthouse since 1967.

When you hire your costumes from Malthouse Costumes – you are helping to preserve a unique heritage building and you are also supporting the continuation of live theatre for the children of Canterbury.

A massive THANK YOU from all of us here at the Malthouse!

Malthouse Costumes had its beginnings in hiring out theatrical costumes. Then, in 1987 we began constructing costumes specifically for hire to the general public. We’ve grown a huge amount since then and our collection now numbers approximately 3000 costumes in a multitude of themes and sizes.
We will have a costume that’s right for you!

Our aim is to design and construct high-quality costumes with an authentic look that are unique to Malthouse Costumes and that you won’t find anywhere else.

We do this because we know that you want to look the part and not be in a cheap, commercial costume that can be found anywhere.

We have fantastic, creative and friendly staff, who are here to help you create the character or look that you want. We have a talented design and construction team who are constantly working to increase our collection and to maintain it. We have our own on-site laundry facility that is managed by another dedicated team member who works to a high standard in the cleaning and presentation our costumes.

Malthouse Costumes is located in the Malthouse, a unique part of Christchurch’s history. The Malthouse is a three storied stone building, constructed in 1867 to process barley for a local brewery in Sydenham.

The extensive earthquake strengthening of the Malthouse was completed in 2008 at a cost of approximately $700,000. We received grants from both local and national organisations which enabled us to achieve this project and for which we are very grateful. The Malthouse has come through all of the seismic events extremely well. We have some remedial work to do on other parts of the Malthouse but the heritage part of the building continues to stand strong.

2003 – Seismic strengthening undertaken. The outside walls re-poured internally and tied into the foundations and extensive steel beams spanning the upstairs performance space installed.

2010/11 – Earthquakes in Canterbury. Malthouse remained operational with the exception of the north extension. Months of planning and restoration began.

2016 – 18 months of restoration and upgrades completed. New north extension with toilet, laundry, office and kitchen facilities. Complete concrete foundations replaced and all exterior stone facades restored. Full wiring and alarm system upgraded. Fire doors and alarms installed. New drainage and front yard completed and upgrade of cottage facilities.

This building contains 14,000 square feet of floor space and eight different levels offering a fascinating glimpse of history mixed with the work of a modern theatre company. Areas once used for the storage of barley and malting now house an array of sets, stage props and theatre memorabilia. The Malthouse Trust administers the building which includes Malthouse Costumes and all profit generated assists with the continuing preservation and maintenance of the Malthouse.

For information about Canterbury Children’s Theatre Inc and their upcoming productions, please follow the links provided.


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