Ad Astra Theatre Company Acquires Brisbane Arts Theatre, Plans to Refurbish the Iconic Building

Ad Astra Theatre Company Acquires Brisbane Arts Theatre

The Brisbane Arts Theatre in Petrie Terrace now has a new owner. Ad Astra Theatre Company recently announced the acquisition of the site at 210 Petrie Terrace which has been the home of the iconic building.

Established in 1936 as Brisbane Amateur Theatres by Jean Tundle and Vic Hardgraves, the company became known as Brisbane Arts Theatre in 1947. Then in 1961, the theatre company occupied the building at 210 Petrie Terrace, becoming the first Brisbane theatre company to operate on its own premises.

“This iconic venue has been the theatrical home for so many actors, directors, designers, technicians and playwrights.  Its history is central to the story of theatre in Brisbane,” Fiona Kennedy said.

Dan and Fiona Kennedy acquired the site for $3 million, saving it from destruction and the potential replacement of an apartment block. 

“Fiona and I think it is wonderful that we are able to help save a landmark like the Brisbane Arts Theatre from demolition and preserve such an important venue for Brisbane’s theatre scene,” said Dan.

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Tallulah M.E. Grey, Brisbane Arts Theatre President said that the club will soon find a replacement home. Ad Astra will lease back the property for at least 18 months.

“This is the start of a new friendship, and we look forward to building a stronger, more symbiotic relationship with Ad Astra in the coming years,” he said.

“We acknowledge the ongoing, excellent work of the Brisbane Arts Theatre, particularly in community theatre, training and children’s theatre. We are confident that our mutual goals will support a strong relationship between our two theatre companies into the future,” Fiona said, expressing agreement with Mr Tallulah’s statement.

“We look forward to giving our professional theatre company, Ad Astra, a permanent home and the emerging artists of Queensland the opportunity to create, produce and perform.  We are unashamedly ambitious.  We want to help launch professional careers and we hope the artistic community of Queensland will join us in striving to generate more opportunities for our talented, determined, enthusiastic performance artists,” Fiona adds.

The holding includes an auditorium which was built on the site of a second-hand store acquired in 1956. It also includes a timber dwelling that was converted into a workshop.

The new owners are planning to have the building refurbished.

Published 18-February-2023