Melbourne’s Palace Theatre To Be Demolished For Luxury Apartments?

Melbourne could be about to lose another iconic live music venue, with the 2,000-capacity Palace Theatre on Bourke Street in the CBD set to be torn down and replaced with a 5-star luxury hotel.

The theatre, which has played host to bands like Wilco, The Dandy Warhols and Queens Of The Stone Age, was auctioned off in June of last year, purchased by Chinese property investment firm Jinshan Investments. Owner Xuan Xu has now revealed plans to demolish the venue and replace it with the first Australian ‘W Hotel’, which would contain 205 rooms and 145 apartments, and be built over 40,000 square metres.

While the facade of the 3-storey theatre is heritage listed, the interior is not, but plans submitted to the Government by the developers will see the whole lot turned to rubble. The Melbourne Heritage Action group oppose the development, with spokesperson Rohan Storey saying the 1920’s interiors of the building were important to preserve from a heritage standpoint. “But the city of Melbourne can’t or hasn’t protected any interiors yet,” he said.

The National Trust agree, with conservation manager Paul Roser telling The Age that development of nearby Hotel Windsor has set a troubling precedent, saying, “I think in 20 years this precinct could be transformed unless the minister draws a line in the sand.”

The Palace has been operating as a live music venue since 1987, and was previously a theatre and a cinema. You can see an artist’s impression of the development above.

(via Tone Deaf)

Gallery: 10 iconic venues that suffered undignified ends

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