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New Geelong Arts Centre counts down to August opening

New Geelong Arts Centre counts down to August opening
May 15, 2023

Following four years of design and construction, the opening of the $140 million Little Malop Street redevelopment is set to mark the completion of Geelong Arts Centre’s once in a generation transformation, launching Victoria’s newest and boldest cultural asset.

With works nearing completion, it has been announced that the largest regional arts centre in Australia is to open as of Saturday 19th August with two opening night events featuring headliners multi-ARIA-Award winning R&B-pop artist, Jessica Mauboy, and an Australian comedy triple-header, featuring Dave Thornton, Dilruk Jayasinha and Lizzy Hoo.

The festival line-up at the facility, formerly known as the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, will also include Missy Higgins, Opera Australia, Belvoir St Theatre, family fun with Windmill Theatre Company, a vibrant community open day and backstage tours.

The festival will be the community’s first taste of the Centre’s new facilities, including new theatres and flexible performance spaces, dining and hospitality options and an atrium plaza along with vastly improved accessibility.

Once fully operational, 1,000 events are already booked in with an array of national and international performances set to fill the venue’s new performance spaces.

Commenting on the expansion, Geelong Arts Centre Chief Executive and Creative Director, Joel McGuinness stated “this milestone in our cultural history puts Geelong Arts Centre on a global stage and ensures those from around our region and beyond can gather, connect, and share their passion for the arts right here in Geelong.

“Overall we will have over 2,000 people in the building at any one time.

“One of the other key parts of the design that we’re really proud of is the work that we’ve done with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the region.

“The building has a cohesive First Nations narrative from across every floor and the process of co-design has been extraordinary in terms of working so closely for a number of years with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and other First Nations people in the area on sharing and reflecting the narrative of this land as it has been for thousands of generations, so that’s amazing.”

Key features
There are several spaces in the redeveloped Centre ready to house Geelong’s vibrant performing arts scene, including a new multi-format 542-seat theatre designed to expand to hold up to 800 audience members when in ‘live gig’ mode with a dance floor.

The building also includes a 250-seat contemporary hybrid venue that connects via a giant door to Little Malop Street Plaza, including the lively foyer, bar facilities and a range of event spaces, including alfresco dining.

A 750-seat playhouse theatre is the only part of the original venue, sitting in the middle of the complex.

Seating at the venue is being installed by Maxwood Technology Australia.

Images: New theatre space in the Geelong Arts Centre's Little Malop Street redevelopment (top), the exterior of the exapnsion (middle) and Geelong Arts Centre Chief Executive and Creative Director Joel McGuinness (below). Credit: Geelong Arts Centre.

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