The Regent Theatre 191 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC

role Architecture, Interior Design value $65 million area 2000 seat capacity completed date 1998

Melbourne's Regent Theatre was the flagship of the Hoyts Cinema chain and is one of Australia's few surviving picture palaces.

The restoration and renovation works comprise the reinstatement of the main theatre spaces in accordance with early photographs and include matching furniture, drapes and paintings. The main auditorium has been converted to a 2000 seat theatre capable of staging major musical and cinema events. The former Plaza Cinema in the basement of the building has been reconstructed as a ballroom to accommodate up to 1000 people.

In terms of theatre facilities the use of the main auditorium was limited by the sightlines (derivative of the buildings original use as a cinema) and the depth of the stage. The realignment of the stalls seating remedied the former situation. The problems associated with short stage depth have been eliminated by the construction of a new flytower with fly galleries to both sides of the stage and a full fly grid. Backstage facilities include dressing rooms for a cast of up to 60 people, separate change areas for orchestra and crew, offices for stage and production managers and wardrobe facilities. Front-of-house facilities include ticket office, a management suite, VIP suite, corporate entertainment areas, staff change rooms and merchandising points. New sound facilities and the ability for the theatre to be linked to television and satellite transmissions have been incorporated into the building.

Architects for the complex are Regent Theatre Architects, a joint venture with peckvonhartel, Desmond Brooks International and Allom Lovell.