Updated closure information

Stay up to date with major milestones on Arts Centre Melbourne’s Reimagining project

State Theatre Flying System – replacement and venue closure

Current: 12 June 2020

Arts Centre Melbourne is busy delivering a program of critical asset maintenance as part of the Victorian Government’s $40 million investment for infrastructure upgrades in the much-loved Theatres Building.

Our growing and increasingly diverse audiences will continue experiencing state-of-the-art venues and technology, and more flexible and efficient spaces for performances, with performers and crew delivering work of outstanding quality in a safer environment.

With approximately 1,500 performance events each year, the funding has begun major improvements to our back-stage infrastructure. This includes replacing the State Theatre Flying System, essential to the staging of 200 State Theatre performances annually. Security systems and other core infrastructure will also be up graded.

This project represents the first major component of the Victorian Government’s vision to transform the Melbourne Arts Precinct in the context of our broader plans to reimagine Arts Centre Melbourne for a new generation.

Our buildings are over 35 years old and much of the behind-the-scenes infrastructure that supports the presentation of the onstage magic no longer meets the standards and technical complexities that contemporary presenters and audiences now expect.

Being able to meet the expectations of companies like Opera Australia, Melbourne Theatre Company and The Australian Ballet and with infrastructure free of risk of failure is absolutely critical to ensuring they can deliver work of excellence with consistency and confidence.

The State Theatre Flying System is a critical piece of infrastructure that stores large props, material and set pieces above the stage, allowing it to be flown in and out as scenes change.

After many months of design and planning with our manufacturing and installation partner, Austria’s Waagner Biro, early works have been underway within the State Theatre since early 2020 to prepare for the decommissioning of the existing system and replacement, which will commence in September 2020.

While COVID-19 has impacted the entire Australian performing arts industry, our timelines remain on track for these critical works to the State Theatre.

The theatre will remain closed until April 2021.

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