Architect: Building and Original Interiors by Arthur W. Purnell and Cedric H. Ballantyne. Interior Redesign by Cowper, Murphy and Appleford
The Regent Theatre, Ballarat was commissioned by Ballarat Theatre Limited, a subsidiary Hoyts Theatres, and constructed in 1927 as a purpose-built motion-picture theatre. The building was designed by architects Arthur W. Purnell and Cedric H. Ballantyne—the latter of whom went on to design the Regent Theatre, Collins Street, Melbourne. Designed in the Free Classical style, the theatre features a symmetrical rendered front façade. At street level a cantilevered verandah covers the entrance of timber-framedglass doors and segmental arch window of frosted glass panels, featuring the Regent name. The theatre opened on Saturday, 7th April, 1928 with the screening The Magic Flame. The original cinema had just one screen and seating for 1,950 people, making it a large theatre even by metropolitan standards. A fire in 1943 significantly damaged the interior, and architects Cowper, Murphy and Appleford were engaged for the redesign. The theatre continued to be operated by Hoyts Cinemas until around 1964 when they closed their regional operations. The Anderson family—headed by the late Jack Anderson—purchased the building in 1974 and, for the next two years, painstakingly restored the theatre’s historical features, re-opening with Gone with the Windon November 11th, 1976.
Need to Know
Open: Saturday 3 & Sunday 29 October 10-4pm
Tour Details: Guided ‘behind the scenes’ tours will take place at 9:30am, 12:30pm and 3:15pm on Saturday and 9:30am and 12:30pm on Sunday.
Building Type: Cultural
Year Built: 1927, 1934
49 Lydiard St North, Ballarat Central VIC