Save the Palace Theatre

  • By: I. James
  • Target: Minister of Planning, Matthew Guy

Melbourne's Palace Theatre has been in operation since 1860. Originally known as the Douglas Theatre, it was destroyed by fire in 1911 and then later reopened in 1912. For over the past hundred years it has been a Melbourne city staple, having being utilised as a theatre, cinema and more recently as a live performance venue for a variety of musical acts.

At present, there are plans in the works to demolish this well known site to make way for luxury hotel suites and apartments. This will leave Melbourne with one less live performance venue at which to host music tours for thousands of patrons to enjoy.

The removal of The Palace as a live music location will leave a measurable gap for mid-sized artists touring Melbourne. With a capacity of approximately 1850 people, The Palace provides a home for mid-size tours exceeding the Billboards venue capacity of 1050 people, while also meeting onsite needs for those not requiring the 5445 person capacity capabilities of Festival Hall. Without The Palace, there is high risk of Melbourne being bypassed on tour routes, thus negatively affecting its thriving music scene. Melbourne's exposure to international tours and the budding local acts that support them stands to suffer significantly under the proposed hotel apartment property development.

Partially heritage listed and situated within Melbourne’s urban landscape, The Palace Theatre is an iconic building which is held in high regard by patrons and performers alike. Its removal would prove a devastating loss to all of those involved in the Melbourne live music experience. As a town known for its rich nightlife and cultural saturation, this demolition cannot be allowed to move forward. We must all band together and make a stand to save and protect a structure that holds so much historical and cultural significance.

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