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26 August

26 August

Sounds of Musical Theatre

Newcastle Council approves the Victoria Theatre Development Application. This is a momentous milestone and provides a blueprint for the Victoria Theatres revival and ongoing operation as a working heritage theatre for generations to come. The Victoria Theatre is a heritage-listed former theatre at 8-10 Perkins Street, Newcastle, City of Newcastle.

It was opened in 1876 and rebuilt during 1890-91, and is the oldest theatre still standing in New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 27 August 1999. The Victoria is only one of several large stage and screen theatres built across the city from the 1870s until the early twentieth-century that have since been closed down.

Others of importance were the Central Mission Theatre on King Street, the Theatre Royal on Hunter Street West, as well as the Strand (demolished) and Lyric cinemas. With the DA approved, the Victoria Theatre is now best positioned out of all the remaining NSW heritage theatres, including the Minerva (Metro) Theatre in Potts Point, the Roxy in Parramatta, the Regents in Mudgee and in Wollongong, to be returned to its original use as a place of public entertainment. With Century as theatre-beneficent owners committed to returning the Vic to full live performance use, and well placed to bring quality acts to the Victorias stage as soon as the works are finalised, the campaign for financial support to fund the revitalisation is now all the more potent.

Ahead of all other potential NSW theatre revivals, the Victoria is a shovel ready fully realisable project, the one-off, once only capital injection required is modest (in comparison to a new theatre build) and no further funding will be required. Theatres bring enormous economic flow on to surrounding businesses and the Victoria Theatre will bring people back to the city centre, it will grow new jobs and boost the Hunters collective live performance and tourism infrastructure. Plans are afoot to seek support and investment to help bring the Victoria Theatre back to life.


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