Framework for the foyer area of Mildura’s new theatre has been erected, offering an insight into the scale and shape of the multimillion dollar performing arts venue.
Contractors began craning large sections of black steel into position on the Cureton Avenue site before Christmas, assembling the structural shell of the foyer’s front and side walls.
Standing at four metres tall at its highest point, the new entrance area is set back further in the landscape than the previous theatre, which opens views to Rio Vista Historic House.
A prominent feature of the new theatre’s façade is the incorporation of the Mildura Arts Centre logo into the structure.
The large MAC lettering forms part of the main eaves and is clearly visible from the road.
Arts and Culture Portfolio Councillor Judi Harris said the external appearance of the new facility had been designed in a way that would unify it with the existing gallery and Rio Vista Historic House.
“The architects worked to design a theatre façade that would complement the grandeur of Rio Vista, but also work as a practical and obvious main entrance for the whole Arts Centre,” Cr Harris said.
When the Mildura Arts Centre reopens, visitors and audiences will access both the theatre and regional gallery via the new foyer, which will feature ticketing and cloakroom facilities.
The larger space will also allow for a café/bar area and means visitors and audiences will be able to move throughout the precinct much easier.
Since works resumed following the Christmas/New Year break, the structural shell of the facility has continued to take shape.
As well as the theatre foyer, steel framework for the back of house area and the main theatre has been erected in stages.
Ongoing stairwell trenching, form works, retaining walls and lower level roofing works are also underway.
Cladding for the roof and walls is currently being fabricated off-site, and all pre-cast tilt panels have been manufactured and are expected to be delivered on site and erected in the coming weeks.
Cr Harris said elements of the previous theatre had been retained and would be incorporated when the finishing touches were put on the new facility.
“The unique chandelier that used to hang from the ceiling of the foyer of the old theatre is currently being safely stored and will once again take pride of place in the foyer area of our new theatre.”
Cr Harris was joined by her fellow Councillors, members of Council’s Arts and Culture Board and the Redevelopment Project Reference Group for a guided tour of the construction site in late December.
Project Managers explained to them the complexities involved in building performing arts venues and pointed out various elements of the development, including the orchestra pit.
Excavated four metres below ground level, the pit will be located at the front of the stage and is where musicians are situated during productions that have an orchestra accompaniment.
The Mildura Arts Centre Theatre Redevelopment project is jointly funded by the Australian Government, the Victorian Government and Mildura Rural City Council.