Melbourne Athenaeum Restoration: progress reports

Progress report one (October 2009)

Building plans are being finalised for the project. Contractors have been selected and contractual agreements are being developed.

Progress report two (March 2010)

A range of works have been completed, including works in the theatre, reinstatement of the orchestra pit and associated repair work, installation of the scenic fly system, and repairs to the toilets. The theatre and foyer carpets are currently being made, with installation planned for May.

Commissioning of the lift works is almost complete and will be carried out during March and April. The fire doors are expected to be installed in May.

Final result

A small re-scoping of the project was required due to cost constraints. With the approval of the project's heritage advisor, the scale of the works on the lift was reduced, with foyer refurbishment and painting being included.

All works are now complete, and the resulting upgrade and revitalisation has contributed significantly to the viability and potential of this much loved historic theatre. The renovated orchestra pit has not only improved visibility and sight lines of the theatre for musical performances, but the acoustic qualities have been substantially improved. The flexibility of the theatre to accommodate difference types of performances has been considerably enhanced with the innovative design of removable flooring and seating over the orchestra pit. This increases its appeal as a multi use theatre.

The upgrading works were undertaken with careful attention to the heritage values of this historic theatre, enabling it to remain a vibrant contributor to Melbourne's theatre scene.