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A Newly Refurbished and Restored Enmore Theatre Is Reopening Next Week After an 11-Month Hiatus

The theatre's restorations include new side wings, an art deco bomber light and two-an-a-half kilometres of LED lighting in the ceiling.
By Ben Hansen
February 16, 2021
By Ben Hansen
February 16, 2021

Sydney's longest-running live performance institution Enmore Theatre is set to reopen to the public on Monday, February 22, marking the first time the theatre has seen music on stage and patrons in seats in nearly a year. Before COVID-19 restrictions forced it to (temporarily) shutter in March last year, the beloved concert venue had been a home to music, comedy and cultural events for decades.

Opening as a photoplay cinema in 1908, the theatre evolved into a thriving live music hub for the area. Its moderate capacity drew future superstars like Bob Dylan, Coldplay and Kendrick Lamar, before they went go on to fill stadiums.

Following the theatre's closure in early 2020, venue owners Century Venues decided to make the most of its time off and bring forward a planned restoration. The building, which was extensively renovated in the 20s and 30s, is one of the only Sydney theatres from the art deco movement in its original condition — and the restoration has respected this, while introducing some new-age additions.

While honouring the century-old theatre's design, the restoration has included the reinstatement of side wing balconies and an original 24-metre art deco bomber light, a full restoration of the theatre's ceiling and the addition of two-and-a-half kilometres of LED strip lighting, which is designed to enhance live music experiences and can be synchronised with performances.

To celebrate the reopening, Enmore Theatre is hosting the Sounds of Sydney Re-opening Night Gala. The gala will feature national favourites like Ian Moss and Murray Cook of The Wiggles, Sydney mainstays such as Red Riders and Alex the Astronaut, as well as exciting rising local acts Milan Ring, Andy Golledge and Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys. The lineup of musicians will be performing a mix of original tracks and covers of songs about Sydney.

Later in the week, on Thursday, February 25, Australian music icons Midnight Oil, who were one of the first rock bands to play at Enmore Theatre during its transition towards rock music in the late 80s, will perform an intimate one-off show at the theatre. The show is being billed as a warm-up for the band's Makarrata Live tour and will see Midnight Oil joined on stage by a slew of First Nations performers, including Dan Sultan, Alice Skye, Troy Cassar-Daley and Tasman Keith.

Enmore Theatre is reopening at 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown on Monday, February 22 with the Sounds of Sydney Re-opening Gala. Tickets are on sale now for $55.

Published on February 16, 2021 by Ben Hansen
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