The Civic Theatre is located at 14 Northumberland St in Waipukurau.
It was designed by Hastings architect Peter Holland to replace the old Municipal Theatre in Kitchener St which had to be demolished after being declared an earthquake risk.
The District council led by the chairman John Nairn, senior managers Fred Spinley and Mike Jarvis were the main instigators behind the new building.
The theatre opened on 12 November 1981 and was managed by George Mitchell for the first 17 years. In 1999 Jim and Sandra Shand leased the theatre and negotiated a performance based contract to provide cinema services to CHB residents. Mitchells Restaurant was added in 2002. In 2014 Catherine Hobbs-Turner and Full House Entertainment took over and rebranded the cinema "The Picture House".
As of 2016 the Civic Theatre is leased by Donald and Sereena Parkinson.
The Civic Theatre is Hawke's Bay's only cinema featuring RealD 3D technology. At the Civic Theatre you will experience the brightest, most immersive 3D pictures in Hawkes Bay.