Regent Theatre

Repost this day 2019:

Must say I never really noticed the #RegentTheatreMelbourne growing up even though I spent a bit of time in the city – prob be used it was closed and abandoned in the 70s; the basement #PlazaBallroom was added to the #CitySquare when it opened in 1980, but all that was left was the elaborate ceiling. Anyway, it’s great! Lots of nice classical detail in stone-coloured render. #RegentTheatreMelbourne, 1929, #CedricBallantyne. Managed to catch it between shows, without banners. So many stories here, but the best one is how it was saved from #demolition (for a high rise hotel looking over a #citysquare) in the 70s by union #greenbans, lying unused for 26 years. Then in a complicated deal with #DavidMarriner involving the state govt buying half the theatre from the @cityofmelbourne, Marriner purchasing half the city square from council for a hotel development, with the two lots of purchase $ redirected by council to the restoration of the theatre for live shows, costing $25 mill, reopening in 1996, and still going strong. Thank goodness for the revival of large scale musicals. 2021 update : Marriner got a permit from #heritagevictoria in early 2019 to extend the balcony, which happened in 2020; fair enough since it was built for cinema and the balc is such a long way from the stage, and from the images I could find you can hardly tell.

Repost 2019: Something from the archives : a photo of the interior of the #RegentTheatreMelbournd in Nov 1991 from Trust News during a @nationaltrustvic open day, revealing something few had seen for 20 years – for which I prepared an info brochure, learning all about 1920s #PicturePalace history in the process. I remember hordes of people, and dust, and how it was just cavernous ! Only a couple of years later #DavidMarriner did a complicated deal with the #CityOfMelbourne and State Govt involving the #CitySquare as well, and at least we got the theatre back, with a pretty complete restoration where: “Every inch of the interior is treated by scumbling; using a transparent oil and wax glaze, coloured to impart either a translucent result or near opaque finish for strength and structural detailing.”, the work and photos from @mulhollandrestorationanddec, completed in 1996. Always been annoyed that the speakers and stage lighting were a bit intrusive. And yes it’s currently being done over again, various things refreshed, bars enlarged, and moving the front of the balcony forward 3 rows, which can be done without it looking any different, to be completed next year for #MoulinRougeTheMusical.

2021 update : that was going to premier last week, then came Lockdown 6. Also found photos of the recent extension of the balcony by @visionornate_plaster, cute little speaker things, but also an area of very plain plaster ?

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