Curtain goes up on new era for upgraded Theatre Royal

Theatre Royal ceremony.jpg

There was a standing ovation at the Theatre R­­oyal in Camperdown today when Member for Wannon Dan Tehan officially unveiled the latest upgrades.

The $216,000 worth of Improvements to the historic venue include:

  • a new sound system;
  • sound absorption treatments;
  • stage traps for various audio and lighting connections; and
  • a remote retractable lighting bar at front of house.

The Federal Government provided $108,000 from the Building Better Regions Fund and the State Government $50,000 from the Stronger Regional Communities Plan.

Mr Tehan said this project would have flow-on benefits increasing the number and type of arts and cultural offerings in Camperdown and the ability to market the venue for conferences and events.

“This is a wonderful outcome for the Camperdown community, with the completed project providing the installation of new sound systems, sound absorption treatments, front of house lighting, helping to return this multi-use venue to its former glory,” Mr Tehan said

“What this means for the Camperdown community is increased performances at the Theatre leading to economic benefits and jobs for both the town and the region.”

Council, Camperdown Theatre Company, Mercy Regional College, and St Patrick’s Primary School all contributed to the remaining costs of the project.

Representatives of those groups and State Member for Western Victoria Bev McArthur were all present at the ceremony.

Councillor Jo Beard welcomed Mr Tehan and thanked the Government for investing in quality entertainment and cultural events for Shire residents.

“Since it opened in 1928 the Theatre has been part of the cultural lifeblood of the area, hosting plays, movies and dances,” Cr Beard said.

“It’s an essential part of major events like the annual Robert Burns Scottish Festival and Rock the Clock Festival and Corangamite Film Festival. In recent months we’ve had Co-opera’s production of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni and Camperdown Theatre Company’s Spamalot.

“This month there are school holiday movies and in a few weeks James Blundell will play here as part of the Victorian Seniors Festival so, for a long time, this theatre has played a massive role in the cultural life of the Shire.”

Cr Beard said the modernisation works would help the Theatre Royal attract more professional touring productions.

“With this new state-of-the-art equipment, the theatre will be capable of holding really high-quality productions that people would otherwise have to leave the Shire to see.

“When audiences have dinner before the show, and maybe stay for the night, there are significant economic flow-on benefits for the community, on top of the social and entertainment value.”

Cr Beard thanked the theatre’s school and community users for their contributions and congratulated them on their sustained efforts over many years.

In an unrelated project, the hardwood floorboards were replaced as part of Council’s 2018-2019 capital works program, ensuring a new lease on life for the grand old building.

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