Pavement Whispers: The Tivoli team announces a revitalisation of Woolloongabba’s Princess Theatre
It’s been a tough time for the local live-music industry, but the scene is set to bounce back stronger than ever following the announcement that the team behind storied Fortitude Valley venue The Tivoli has taken over Queensland’s oldest-standing theatre the Princess. The coming months will see the 133-year-old landmark restored to its former glory as a destination for live music and the arts – read on to hear what’s planned!
Although stages and performance spaces across Brisbane were quiet for most of last year, venues have wasted no time welcoming punters back in 2021. As gigs slowly become a crucial part of our social calendars once more, the operators of one of the city’s best concert halls is revealing big plans for the Princess Theatre, which has sat under-utilised near the Mater Hospital for years. Steve Sleswick and Dave Sleswick, owners of The Tivoli Theatre, are taking over the Princess, embarking on a renewal project alongside Brisbane businessman Steve Wilson that aims to preserve and revitalise the iconic and historical building, which was first erected in 1888.
Work has commenced on overhauling the Princess Theatre’s interior, with leading heritage architect JDA, interiors expert Sophie Hart, and builder Herron Coorey spearheading the makeover effort. Once restored, the State Heritage building will boast a state-of-the-art performance auditorium with capacity for 900 patrons standing and 500 seated, four bars, a public cafe, private-event spaces, a rehearsal room, a co-working creative office and workshop space, plus an outdoor courtyard. The venue’s program will incorporate a diverse spectrum of contemporary music and art performances, while independent arts organisation Dead Puppet Society will be making the Princess Theatre the permanent home of its workshop and gallery. The official reopening of the Princess Theatre is tentatively slated for August 2021, with details on the ongoing program to be announced in the coming months.