Brisbane Arts Theatre

Iconic Brisbane Arts Theatre up for sale

Petrie Terrace’s iconic Brisbane Arts Theatre has been listed for sale.

The theatrical home, which has housed hundreds of stage shows for over 60 years, will go to market in a bid for the company to stay afloat.

Purchased in 1961 for just £6000 by Brisbane Arts Theatre, the building has been redeveloped and purpose-built into what is now known as the Arts Theatre. Now, it appears as though it’s another victim of the effects of COVID-19.

Nestled among an array of 1900s buildings, the theatre has a rich history of arts culture, with acting juggernauts like the late Carol Burns, John Batchelor, Barry Otto, Stephen Tandy, Jennifer Flowers and Geoffery Rush all having “trod the boards” of this iconic stage.

Photograph of Brisbane Arts Theatre in vintage style.
Brisbane Arts Theatre in the 1970s.

Not only has the Arts Theatre featured some of Queensland’s greats, but in recent times, it’s become a development ground for emerging artists to showcase their talents and grow their creative skills. As such, the news that the building will be sold has shocked the local community.

Ray White Commercial Queensland, agents Michael McCullagh and David Atkinson, are the team who will sell the property to its new owner. Although the sale of the building will result in the loss of a piece of Australian performing arts history, it would provide Brisbane Arts Theatre with the funding required to keep entertaining audiences.

“The property at 210 Petrie Terrace encompasses a commercial opportunity positioned only 1km from the Brisbane CBD,” said McCullagh.

“Petrie Terrace is one of Brisbane’s most iconic suburbs and includes a mix of residential, office and retail properties centred around Suncorp Stadium and Caxton Street, Brisbane’s premier sporting and entertainment precincts.”

Brisbane Arts Theatre
Brisbane Arts Theatre at 210 Petrie Terrace. Photo Credit: Ray White Commercial Queensland

The building at 210 Petrie Terrace, Petrie Terrace, was listed for sale on 8 July. The property is available for sale through an expression of interest process that ends on 4 August 2022.

While any prospective buyer will determine their own plans for the site, Brisbane Arts Theatre is interested in a flexible lease-back agreement.

The community organisation, which was established in 1936 by Jean Trundle and Vic Hardgraves, was given the name Brisbane Arts Theatre in 1947. It purchased the old second-hand clothes store Dan’s in Petrie Terrace to serve as its permanent residence.

Despite this, the future of the building is unknown, and it’s hopeful its legacy will live on as a hub of the performing arts community.

Let’s pray the building’s next “production” doesn’t ignore its history and instead become a residential site for hungry developers.

Read more about the listing here

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  1. How very sad. I met my future wife Robyn in 1966 when we performed in The Boy Friend at B A T. It was a joint venture with the Queensland Light Opera Company and starred Bernard King and Pamela Page with Pam’s husband Max Olding as Musical Director. Robyn and I are still performing, now with the Victorian Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company (GSOV). My mother Gloria Birdwood-Smith also performed and directed for B A T during the 40’s and 50’s. I hope an ‘angel’ will come forward to save this icon of Brisbane’s theatrical history.

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