The Hawkins Theatre - Papakura opened on the 14th July 1990 by Governor General Paul Reeves, and was an exciting step for the community as the first purpose-built facility for the arts in the District. The facility won commendation for its design in the 1990 NZIA awards, with the jury saying that while the Italianate form and size of the structure were large, the building successfully defined the public importance of the facility and its purpose.
Situated on Ray Small Drive the facility stands between the town centre and the motorway. The theatre is accessible from the southern and northern motorways and has ample onsite free parking. A partially enclosed colonnade allows all-weather sheltered access. The Hawkins Theatre is a modern facility with good access, off-street parking, and good quality comfortable seating, all with unobstructed views of the stage. A number of seats are also available for wheelchair access.