Hawkins Theatre was built in 1990 by the former Papakura District Council. Then-mayor of Papakura George Hawkins, for whom the theatre is named, saw the development of a performing arts venue as vital to a thriving local community and a healthy theatre scene.
The Hawkins Theatre began life essentially as a venue for hire but has steadily evolved over the past 22 years into a community cinema and performing arts venue. Over the years it has hosted everything from local theatre to touring shows such as Men In Tutus, the Royal NZ Ballet, the South Auckland Performing Arts Festival and Calvin Cruickshank from TV’s Sensing Murder. It also hosts a season of films, with a particular focus on New Zealand, overseas festival and 'arthouse' films.