Works on the third stage of the Empire Theatre refurbishment will begin this month.
Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Environment and Community Committee Chair Councillor James O’Shea said this would be the final stage of a rolling renewal program on the 110-year-old Empire Theatres complex.
“The Empire Theatre holds so much significance and is our cultural hub,” Cr O’Shea said.
“It’s not just an important building within the Toowoomba Region but is one of the leading regional performance centres in the country.
“There is so much history in this building and it’s vital we preserve the facility so it can continue to thrive for many years to come.”
Previous stages of the refurbishment included upgrades to the seating and carpet, additional female toilet facilities, improvements to accessibility, improvements to the north bar and all foyer areas and the addition of a new south bar.
“These additions have ensured the heritage-listed building remains a treasured complex,” Cr O’Shea said.
“As part of the next phase, work will focus on the change rooms, amenities, stage door entry and rehearsal room.
“This final stage will ensure the precinct continues to serve the community as a significant and well-utilised landmark.”
The tender for the refurbishment has been awarded to construction company, Quadric, with the project expected to be completed in May 2021.
After a difficult year for the theatre industry in 2020, Empire Theatre General Manager Kerry Saul welcomed the completion of the project.
“This final stage ensures the whole facility will now have been refurbished, giving us greater opportunities to attract significant events to this Region,” Mr Saul said.
“These changes will see the ‘back-of-house’ modernised with an increase in capacity which means it will take us less time to set up for big events.
“It will also add to our event and conference capability which is not only good for the theatre, but for the entire region.”
Empire Theatre performances and events will continue per normal schedule during the construction period.