Venues Update: Sydney’s Theatre Royal, Gold Coast’s NightQuarter, Melbourne’s Cherry Bar & more
LIVE SECTOR APPLAUDS THEATRE ROYAL MOVE
The live performance industry has welcomed an agreement to secure the future of Sydney’s Theatre Royal at MLC Centre.
The future of the purpose-built venue has been uncertain since it closed in 2016.
Last year an alliance of producers, actors, creatives and crew rallied around, with a petition signed by almost 10,000 people demanding the NSW government ensure the Royal is reopened.
The government has signed a long term lease agreement with site owners, Dexus and The GPT Group.
Live Performance Australia chief executive Evelyn Richardson said, “This is an important agreement to help secure the future of the Theatre Royal as part of Sydney’s live performance infrastructure.
“We look forward to studying the terms of the proposed leasing arrangement in closer detail when it is
‘We also call on all parties in the current NSW election to commit their support to the future of the Theatre
But Richardson said that even with the Royal returning, Sydney was still short some 3,000-4,000 seats “and this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“Furthermore, several of Sydney’s existing theatres are closed or closing for renovations including the Opera
House, Riverside and Wharf Theatres.
“Without venue capacity, shows can’t be booked and they go elsewhere, which can also impact on the touring
prospects for other Australian cities.”
NIGHTQUARTER HAS A SITE OPTION
The NightQuarter, which scrammed from its Helensvale after three years ago due to escalating rent, looks like they’ve got a couple of options for a new home.
The Queensland Government is looking at the possibility of the popular live music and market coming to Metricon Stadium in Carrara, in a space between the stadium and Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre.
Co-owners Michelle Christoe and Ian Van De Woude also have the choice of the Smith Collective site near the Gold Coast University Hospital, which local MP Sam O’Connor has been trying to broker.
BACK IN BLACK: CHERRY BAR FAREWELLING AC/DC LANE
Melbourne’s Cherry Bar which is moving out of AC/DC Lane to a new and still undisclosed location, is throwing a farewell party on Saturday March 30 from noon to midnight. Only 650 tickets at $25 each are available, while an extra 200 costing $94 gets a souvenir T-shirt declaring I Was There.
Among the bands playing are Child, Fluff, Batz and Drunk Mums.
UNIBAR RETURNING REBRANDED AS UNIBAR ADL
Buoyant Adelaide live music venue UniBar which went dark last November as the University of Adelaide initiated changes, returns on March 25 with new management.
It remains at the university but on the ground floor, and able to stage indoors shows for 500 and outdoor ones for 2,000.
RORKES UP FOR LEASE
The site of Darwin live music/DJ showcasing nightclub Rorkes is up for lease.
It opened in 2015, after a reported $3.5 million refit and aiming for a high end clientele.
But in recent weeks, former staff complained they were owed thousands of dollars in back pay and claimed the owner had ordered them to keep First Nation people and poorly dressed people out of his establishment.
VIC HOTEL ON THE MARKET
The 121-year old Vic Hotel in Subiaco, WA, is up for sale, for a reported $8 million.
Locals will miss it: last year the Vic introduced the $3.50 beer pint which saw Sunday crowd numbers leap from 65 to 500.
STEP UP FOR NEW QLD THEATRE
Plans for the new $150 million theatre at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) has taken one step further.
The Queensland government has called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a contractor to manage the project, which will make QPAC the largest performing arts centre in the country.
The government has committed itself to $125 million, and will create 10o jobs during construction
INITIATIVES CALLED FOR CAIRNS VENUE
The Queensland government is calling for proposals for new contemporary First Nations performing arts initiatives that can be presented at the new Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns when it reopens this year.
Minister for the arts Leeanne Enoch said “The centre is now undergoing a multi-million dollar revitalisation and once completed, it will have a renewed focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts.
“This focus will help strengthen the sector and further the ability to share our unique Queensland stories and cultivate cultural tourism in the region.
“We’re seeking proposals for performances, masterclasses, residencies and events, all of which will further support Queensland’s wealth of talent in the region.”