Melbourne’s Regent Theatre will undergo a $19.4 million upgrade for the first time since the heritage site reopened to the public 23 years ago.
The Victorian Government will contribute $14.5 million towards the total upgrade, which will renew the landmark’s interior and exterior.
Works will include upgrades to seating, improvements to the bar and foyer area, more women’s bathrooms and extending the balcony to bring audiences closer. The theatre’s façade will also be repaired and cleaned.
The upgrade will allow the theatre to set three configurations: 1500 seats, 1700 seats and 2300 seats.
Built in 1929, the Regent Theatre has survived threats of demolition, a flood, and a fire in 1945 that gutted the auditorium and destroyed its organ.
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The Victorian Government and City of Melbourne are joint owners of the theatre, which is operated by the Marriner Group. The City of Melbourne and the Marriner Group will also support the upgrade.
Works are expected to be completed in early 2020, with the theatre to host the Australian premier of Moulin Rouge in 2021.
Victorian Creative Industries Minister, Martin Foley, said Melbourne is home to the best theatres in the country, including heritage theatres like the Regent.
“This investment ensures that we will continue to attract and host top productions for many years to come – introducing new generations of Victorians to the magic of theatre and live performance,” Foley said.