The Orange Coronation Ballroom (also known as the Orange Hall, or simply the Orange) at 143–149 Newton Road in Auckland. Constructed in 1922 and opened in 1923, the Orange Hall was built by the Protestant Orange Society in Auckland who would organise weekly public dances and the hall was regularly rented out to organisations and individuals for events.

The iconic building was once the city’s number one party spot and was immortalised in the 1958 Peter Cape song Down the Hall on Saturday Night.

In its heyday in the 1940s, the dance hall was packed, with queues stretching down Newton Rd.

The longest running, and consequently best known band, that regularly played the Orange was led by Ted Croad from September 1934 until circa mid 1955. Three nights a week, including the very lucrative Saturday night, Ted Croad and his wife Edith ran a dance at the Orange, and although in later years it might not have been the most up to date jazz, throughout his tenure Croad’s band boasted many of Auckland’s best jazz musicians.

     Ted Croad’s band at the Orange Coronation Hall, Auckland,  early 1940s. - Photo from Audio Culture

     Ted Croad’s band at the Orange Coronation Hall, Auckland,  early 1940s. - Photo from Audio Culture

A colourful piece of Auckland's social history will soon re-open, as the heart of Auckland's early jazz and big-band scene. The Orange Hall, or the "Orange", on Newton Rd, established itself as a popular dance hall before television and other forms of entertainment captured Aucklanders' attention ...

During World War II, the Orange opened its doors six nights a week to crowds who queued four-deep down its steps and along Newton Rd. It was one of the institutions that helped launch the careers of performers such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the late Sir Howard Morrison. The supper room below the dance hall area served sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee for the crowds until the 1980s.

"We've got the teacher to bash the pianna,

And Joe from the store on the drums.

We're as slick as the Orange in Auckland

For whooping things up and making them hum."

"Down the hall on a Saturday Night" (1958), by Peter Cape - sung about The Orange