Thebarton Theatre upgrade


The Thebarton Theatre is a well-known and much loved live performance venue in South Australia and, locally, it is an important facility within West Torrens.

Officially opened on Monday 11 June 1928 by Mayor HS Hatwell Esq, Thebarton Theatre was considered a grand and luxurious facility with modern conveniences. Ninety-five years later, the Theatre's beautiful and ornate features remain intact, however the functionality and amenity for a range of theatre-goers and performers requires improvement. A significant upgrade is therefore required.

Masterplan and funding

Council has recently developed a masterplan for the site, in conjunction with theatre specialists and heritage experts. The masterplan creates a long-term vision for the site and allows for works to be staged as funds become available.

Council and the State Government (through the Local Government Infrastructure Partnership Program) have committed funding of $4 million each to achieve the first stage of works.

Stage one

Stage One focusses on improving the functionality and amenity of the Theatre. Pedestrian and vehicle access have been identified as key priorities, along with the user experience of the arrival lobby and bar and lounge areas. The external presentation of the Theatre, especially when approaching the site from the east, was also identified as an element which could be addressed as part of the Stage One package of works.

Development application

A development application has been lodged to undertake the work and will be assessed by the relevant authority under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016. Due to the State Heritage status of the buildings and the nature of the proposed works, the development application will be required to undergo a public notification process and referral to external agencies including the State Heritage Branch and Department for Infrastructure and Transport.

Early works are expected to begin from July 2023 and, subject to securing all necessary approvals, the redevelopment will proceed later in 2023. The entire project is expected to be completed by mid-2025. The Theatre will remain closed for the duration of the construction period.