The fight to save Melbourne’s beloved live music venue, The Palace Theatre, seems to have come to a sad finish, with news that the historic venue will close its doors for good on Saturday, 31st May. The Palace’s General Manager Greg Young confirmed to theMusic.com.au that the fight was over.
Plans to convert the venue were announced back in July by the new owners of the site, Chinese property investment firm Jinshan Investments, and met with outrage from live music lovers. While subsequent development plans have since been rejected by Parliament, a statement from the venue said the landlord has declined to extend the music venue’s lease in the interim period.
“Numerous requests to the landlord to extend our lease have been rejected,” reads the statement. “The landlord has made this decision while still awaiting approval of planning and building permits which to date, have been rejected by both the State Government and Melbourne City Council.
“Palace Theatre management had requested assistance from both state and local government to seek alternative locations to ensure the ongoing success of the Victoria’s thriving live music industry and to continue to provide live music,” it continues. “Regretfully, to date, this avenue of relocating the operations of the Palace Theatre has been unsuccessful.”
According to theMusic, the Palace’s General Manager has said they would no longer be continuing their search for a potential new venue. Since its unveiling in 1860, the iconic venue has undergone a series of identity changes, carrying such varied names as Apollo Theatre, Metro Nightclub, Metro Theatre, St James Theatre and Brennan’s Amphitheatre.
“The Palace Theatre team is extremely proud to have created a world-class and much sort after venue over the past eight years and to have been a part of its 150 year history,” said the statement. “This venue has hosted many hundreds bands which have entertained over two million patrons during these eight years.”