The Theatre Royal provides a beautiful space for performances,
and although it is not our only performance venue, our members often frequent the stage!
The historic Theatre Royal was built in 1927, replacing the former town hall that had been lost to fire the previous year. The Bath Street entrance, together with the current auditorium, stage and mezzanine was an extension to the pre-existing Mechanics Institute building on Manifold Street, which today houses a gallery space on the upper level and 2 formal spaces on the lower level.
The building was designed by Walter Perry Knights, a local architect who is responsible for many of Camperdown's fine buildings, with the construction undertaken by Cant and Bennett builders, of Footscray.
The total construction cost was 7,193 pounds.
The Official Opening of the new theatre took place on Wednesday, April 11, 1928, with the first film screening being
'The Volga Boatman'.
After many years of use, the theatre was subject to major renovations in the 1970s - 1980s which saw the technical capabilities expanded, new paint and stage replaced. Similarly, the theatre is currently undergoing similar changes as more groups are using the space for performances. The stage was reconstructed in 2015, and new lighting and sound upgrades were undertaken in mid 2019, and vision system upgrades in 2020.
Built as a multi-purpose venue, the Theatre Royal has catered for
an array of events in it's rich history, including plays, concerts and other live performances, dinners, festivals, balls, wedding receptions, masses and cinema screenings. It remains a beautiful venue for any event, with ample floor space in the main auditorium, fit for table/chair settings complemented by a 180 capacity tiered mezzanine (for film viewing).
Many performances of the Camperdown Theatre Company have been staged here over the company's history. The space has a natural appeal which adds to the atmosphere of performances.
BASIC TECHNICAL INFORMATION:
6.5 metres wide (no rake).
8 metres deep.
The 1.5 metre apron includes stair access both sides to the auditorium.
Both Prompt and OP sides have change rooms with sinks, lights, toilet and shower immediately sidestage and an onstage crossover connects the wings behind the rear smother curtain.
A ramp from the old stadium and stairwell from the under-stage area connects the backstage to larger areas.
Stage extension platforms are available for hire with advance notice. Stage can be extended forwards by either 1.2m or 2.4m.
Above-stage rigging is limited and subject to weight limitations. There is no fly capability.
Drapery includes a burgundy velvet house curtain (traverse) with woollen black valance, black woollen stage legs and 2 traverse smothers (1 mid, 1 rear) enclosed in an ornate proscenium archway.
3 static lighting bars and 1 static cyclorama lighting bar.
1 cyclorama truss (rear) on chain hoist.
A heavy duty static rail (mid stage) can support lightweight scenery and extends off stage to allow for retraction.
The stage lighting can be hired upon request, ranging from basic conventional wash to addition of RGB LED (static and moving).
A cyclorama is also available for hire (with 12 LED ColorPix wash units).
The FOH bar can support up to 300kg of weight and has DMX and digital connectivity.
For simple setups there is a Maxim M lighting console available for hire. For more complicated setups there is an Element 2 lighting console (with 2 universes) available for hire.
The use of the lighting facilities requires a technician and advance notice.
Stage traps are located in the stage and FOH bar for advanced connectivity and the system can be controlled from up to 8 different locations.
New upgrades have seen the installation of a permanent sound system, which can meet the versatile needs of hirers upon request. The system defaults to plug-and-play with a 3.5mm headphone jack or Bluetooth in the rack on OP. Technicians are required to advance the sound system capability beyond this point. Stage traps are located in the stage for advanced connectivity and the system can be controlled from up to 8 different locations.
A new vision system, with multiple input capabilities including HDMI lectern and DVD player seamlessly connects to an Epson Eb-L1300u projector. A retractable (acoustically transparent) cinema screen is used for film viewing/presentations. Stage traps are located in the stage for advanced connectivity and the system can be controlled from up to 8 different locations.
The main hall defaults to an empty town hall with hardwood flooring. The mezzanine features permanent tiered seating suitable for cinema screen viewing (not stage viewing). Seats and tables for the main floor area are available by arrangement. Beneath the front of the balcony is a retractable curtain.
The hall is serviced by an ornate ticket foyer from Bath Street, a walk-through entrance hall from Manifold St and a large passageway with toilets also from Manifold St.
House lights can be controlled from 2 panels in the Prompt side proscenium arch. The chandeliers, scroll lights and under-balcony track are controlled separately.
Heating can be controlled from a switch in the front Prompt side proscenium arch.