Queensland’s oldest-standing theatre, the 133-year-old Princess Theatre, will be revitalised and relaunched this year under new owners and a new direction.
Brisbane brothers Steve Sleswick and Dave Sleswick will reopen the Woolloongabba theatre in August as a sister venue to The Tivoli in Fortitude Valley, alongside businessman Steve Wilson.
When it reopens, the revived Princess Theatre will be home to a performance auditorium designed for a standing capacity of 900 and a seated theatre capacity of 500.
It will also feature private event spaces, four bars, a public café, a rehearsal room, a co-working creative office and workshop space, plus an outdoor courtyard.
The renewal project speaks to the Sleswick brothers’ passion for preserving and revitalising historical music and arts spaces, just as they did with The Tivoli in 2016 after it was earmarked for development.
Dave Sleswick said culture and community will be at the core of the redevelopment.
“The Princess was created as a theatre in 1888, originally known as the South Brisbane Public Hall,” he said.
“We feel it’s vital for us to reclaim the building for Brisbane’s vibrant world-class arts sector and return it to the community to be used as it was originally intended.
“It shares the same independent spirit as The Tivoli and will have live music at its heart, providing a home for Brisbane and Queensland artists, musicians and entertainers, as well as those from throughout Australia and across the world.”
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The Princess has enlisted a team of local creatives and professionals to undertake the revival, including heritage architect firm JDA, interiors expert Sophie Hart, builder Herron Coorey and creative agency Bigfish.
The Princess Theatre’s opening and ongoing program will feature music, contemporary performance and a diverse mix of corporate and private events.
Building works have commenced this month with the official reopening slated for late August 2021.