How often do you compare an artist’s impression of proposed architecture, and find that it rarely matches the actual build? Not so with the newest (and perhaps most impressive) addition to Sydney’s list of performance venues.
The new Sydney Coliseum Theatre, privately constructed at a cost of $100 million, might easily put established city venues to shame. Finally giving the Greater West of Sydney an astonishing 2000 seat theatre, with the versatility to attract the greatest performers in the world today.
The launch party featured John Butler, Amy Shark, and headlined by Keith Urban, joined by fans belting out the lyrics to each one of the numbers. But earlier in the week, the stage was christened with performances given by the one and only Dame Edna Everage.
VIDEO: View from Row V, Seat 55 - Launch night, Keith Urban performs.
Technically and architecturally, the space can be reconfigured for everything from standing concerts to conferences and traditional Broadway musicals. It includes a retractable orchestra pit big enough for pretty much any show, a full-sized rehearsal room and fully retractable seating. The raking can virtually guarantee an uninterrupted view of the stage irrespective of any large lad (or tall hairdo) sitting in front of you.
For patrons, there are plenty of bars on each level too, reducing waiting time for a drink at intermission to a mere minute or so, even with the capacity crowd. And there’s free parking for around 2000 cars, a privilege to only dream about when attending shows in the CBD.
The theatre owes it existence to the revenue raised by its owner, the formerly named Rooty Hill RSL Club. Shaking off its previous moniker as the ‘Vegas of the West’, the club has successfully rebranded as ‘West HQ’ further cementing it as the Greater West’s centre for entertainment, dining, sports and short stay accommodation (both Novotel and Pullman have properties on site).
The Coliseum, recognised as the venue ‘built by the pokies’ also introduces an alternative revenue opportunity, with the RSL’s chief executive previously stating the RSL’s reliance on gambling income will have dropped to 50 per cent by the end of the theatre’s first year. This also means that patrons have the choice of an affordable dinner before the show, drinks afterwards, and a well-appointed room for the night if required, all within the West HQ precinct.
The 2016 census reveals that the usual resident population of the Greater Western Sydney Region in that year was 2,307,183. Even so, local venues such as in Penrith (Richard Bonynge Concert Hall seats 550), and Parramatta (Riverside Theatre, 761), can’t accommodate blockbuster shows which until now might only be staged at the Lyric or the Capitol, nearly a 60 minute train trip from Rooty Hill.
With the Sydney Coliseum Theatre now open, a new paradigm arises. The venue is already attracting upcoming performances scheduled by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, St Petersburg Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Missy Higgins, Bangarra Dance Theatre and many more.
More details at sydneycoliseum.com.au