Melbourne Regent Theatre gets a renovation

The Australian state of Victoria is contributing AUD14.5m (€89.9m) towards an AUD19.4m (€120.3m) upgrade of Melbourne’s heritage-listed Regent Theatre.

The renovations are expected to be completed in 2021 for the Australian premiere of Moulin Rouge! The Musical based on the hit film by Australian director Baz Luhrmann. The work will include upgrades to seating, more women’s bathrooms and an extension to the balcony to bring audiences closer to the stage.

Minister for creative industries, Martin Foley, said: “Melbourne is home to the best theatres in the country, including extraordinary 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.”

Built in 1929, the Regent will have its first upgrade since the theatre reopened to the public in 1996 after a complete overhaul which took three years to complete. The Government and City of Melbourne are joint owners of the theatre, which is operated by the Marriner Group and as part of the upgrade project, the Government wants to give more Victorians the chance to experience live performances.

Free theatre tickets will be offered to drought-affected farmers from East Gippsland and Wellington through the Gimme a Break programme, and a further 1,000 free tickets will be allocated to children in state care and their carers.

Victorian minister for tourism, sport and major events, Martin Pakula, added: “Moulin Rouge! The Musical is going to be a major winner for Victoria when its lands in 2021 and it is fantastic that it will open in a rejuvenated Regent Theatre.”