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Curtain Rises On Palais Theatre

Posted on Feb 21, 2017

The iconic Palais Theatre in St Kilda has been undergoing a $20 million refurbishment to retain its position as one of Australia’s top live music venues.

The art deco style theatre opened on 11 November 1927 with a showing of the silent film Seventh Heaven. From 1962 it became known as the Palais Theatre, hosting musicals, ballet, opera and some of music’s biggest stars including the Rolling Stones.

Despite continuing to host more than 100 shows a year, the Victorian Government-owned and Victorian Heritage-registered theatre was in need of significant repair and maintenance.

Built was appointed by Major Projects Victoria to undertake critical maintenance, repair and refurbishment works under a joint project between the Victorian Government and the City of Port Phillip.

Starting in April 2016, the general works included a full refurbishment of the external facade including the structure, windows and other features such as refurbishing the original PALAIS THEATRE neon sign.

Internally the works involved a full electrical upgrade of wiring and lighting, extensive fire and hydraulic services upgrades and other general structural stabilisation repairs.

Due to the Palais’ heritage status, much of the work has required traditional repair methods and materials. For example, the facade repairs saw stonemasons using old sand and cement render and mineral silicate paint finish.

At the time of writing there were approximately 50 workers on site per day, including plumbers, electricians, carpenters, stonemasons, roofers, renderers, plasterers and general labourers.

An important requirement for the refurbishment was that the theatre remained operational at all times and that the show schedule was not interrupted despite it occurring during one of the venue’s busiest schedules of the past 10 years.

Work on the Palais Theatre is expected to be complete in early 2017.

Check out more photos of the team working on the Palais Theatre in our Facebook gallery.

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