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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

You Can Help Save Brisbane's Iconic Tivoli Theatre

The 99-year-old, art deco-styled live music venue that was once a bakery (!) is up for sale.
By Sarah Ward
March 02, 2016
  shares

You Can Help Save Brisbane's Iconic Tivoli Theatre

The 99-year-old, art deco-styled live music venue that was once a bakery (!) is up for sale.
By Sarah Ward
March 02, 2016
  shares

It's the news no Brisbanite wants to hear: another beloved venue could soon be shutting its doors. If you've been to a gig or seen some standup over the last decade or so, or enjoyed an evening of dinner theatre before that, odds are that you've been to the latest place to grace the endangered species list — and probably more than once.

Yes, we're talking about Fortitude Valley's own Tivoli Theatre, the spot where everyone from Bob Dylan to The Dandy Warhols to The Presets has played. Yes, the 99-year-old, art deco-styled building that was once a bakery (!) is up for sale, with the expression of interest period ending on March 10.

Current owners and operators, the O'Rourke family, have put the venue on the market before, but this time they're unable to keep the business going for personal reasons. Eager to see the Tiv live on beyond its current calendar of events — which includes Sarah Blasko, Millencolin, Violent Soho and The Rubens between now and September, among others — they're hoping a music-minded buyer will step in and save the day.

So are the folks behind the latest public plea to retain a part of the city's cultural landscape. Where there's the threat of one of the city's landmarks disappearing from the map, there's also an online petition to stop it. Key to the change.org letter to the Queensland government is the venue's heritage status, or lack thereof. Without heritage protection, whoever snaps up the building could demolish it. Given the Tiv's prime position right next to the recently redeveloped RNA Showgrounds, no doubt developers will sniffing around.

At the time of writing, 2983 people have pledged their support, so here's hoping that the powers that be take notice. Social media certainly is, if the below posts are anything to go by.

If you're wondering why everyone is fearing the worst, well, all you have to do is look to the past. Sadly, news of iconic Brisbane cultural venues getting torn down has become all too common in recent years. Two cases in point: Festival Hall was replaced by an apartment tower, and the Regent Cinema has been a construction site for more than half a decade. Here's hoping that the Tivoli doesn't join them.

Sign the petition over here.

Image: Sherwin Huang, Flickr.

Published on March 02, 2016 by Sarah Ward

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