Paddington's Verona Is Being Redeveloped Into Eight Levels of Offices and Shops with a Basement Cinema and Rooftop Bar

Here's what's in store for the Oxford Street site now that Palace's picture palace has left the building.
Sarah Ward
February 26, 2024

One of Sydney's favourite cinemas is no more, with Palace Verona shutting up shop after almost three decades in advance of the building it called home since 1996 being redeveloped. When the Oxford Street site relaunches in its new guise, it'll still include somewhere to see a movie, thankfully — plus everything from offices and shops to a rooftop bar and restaurant.

The 1138-square-metre block at 17 Oxford Street is set to become an eight-level precinct, spanning 3500 square metres of work and retail space. A further 1000 square metres will be dedicated to entertainment, including two subterranean levels that'll feature a cinema setup, plus stores on the ground floor. And on top, that's where you'll find spots to eat and drink across 620 square metres, complete with views of the harbour and Sydney's CBD.

It was late in 2023 when Palace announced that its Verona picture palace, which launched in the mid-90s with Nicole Kidman (Expats) opening the venue, was leaving the building. The theatre's projectors stopped whirring this month. The cinema chain is now moving to Entertainment Quarter, with Palace Moore Park opening on Tuesday, February 27.

When the new Verona will begin welcoming in patrons hasn't yet been revealed, but plenty of work clearly needs to be done first by owners WT Malouf and Fenbury. The private development companies bought the address in 2021 from Robert Bleakley, who also founded Sotheby's Australia Fine Art.

The history of the building dates back to 1946, starting as an industrial facility, then becoming a cinema. The first Mambo retail store was also onsite, closing in 2006.

Architecture firm Scott Carver is overseeing the redesign, which will keep the industrial brick façade. Above that, the look will be "crystalline and dynamic", according to the developers, while aiming to reinvent Oxford Street's cultural experiences.

"Cinema opens a world of experience and magic beyond our everyday lives. Verona will retain these cinematic experiences loved by so many, and enhance them with live entertainment, retail and creative workspaces," said Doug Southwell, Project Architect and Scott Carver's Co-Managing Director.

The revamped Verona will be adjacent to Sydney's 109-room new 25Hours Hotel at 1–11 Oxford Street, which is due to open in December 2024 — and down the road from 56-room hotel Oxford House at 21 Oxford Street.

The Verona at 17 Oxford Street, Paddington doesn't yet have a relaunch date — we'll update you when further details are announced. Palace Moore Park opens at Entertainment Quarter from Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

Published on February 26, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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