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Sydney to get a new 1500-seat theatre

Image: Marinco Kojdanovski

The NSW Government has confirmed its plans to convert the Powerhouse Museum site in Ultimo into a new 1,500-seat theatre designed to house large-scale musicals.

The Powerhouse Museum will be moved to Parramatta by 2023 as part of a major cultural centre redevelopment.

The new theatre will join the Capitol and the Sydney Lyric in housing musical theatre productions.

The 1,100-seat Theatre Royal at the MLC Centre has been closed since March 2016 due to a proposed redevelopment of the site.

Live Performance Australia – a body that represents performing arts companies and producers – has welcomed the announcement of a new theatre in Ultimo, but called on the government to ensure that the Theatre Royal reopens.

LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson says, “Every day the Theatre Royal is closed is another missed opportunity for Sydney’s live performance industry and audiences, and the government should make reactivation of the site an immediate strategic priority for live performance in NSW.

“Sydney has fallen way behind Melbourne when it comes to live performance venue capacity which is not only bad for Sydney but also impacts on audiences around the rest of the country. The NSW government cannot idly stand by and allow the demolition or downgrading of existing infrastructure,” said Richardson.