From Final Bow to New Act: Brisbane Arts Theatre Says Goodbye to Their Historic Petrie Terrace Headquarters

Brisbane Arts Theatre (BAT), a longstanding symbol of Brisbane’s cultural and arts scene, is embarking on a new chapter while bidding farewell to its Petrie Terrace headquarters after seven decades of performances.

Founded in 1936 by Jean Trundle and Vic Hardgraves, BAT initially operated across various locations in Brisbane before settling in Petrie Terrace, in a converted workshop that became a cultural icon for theatre enthusiasts.

Over the decades of rehearsals, workshops, a fire in 1964, renovations, ticket sales, singing, and dancing, the Petrie Terrace building became a landmark in Brisbane’s arts scene.

Photo Credit: Brisbane Arts Theatre/Instagram

Financial challenges during COVID prompted the sale of the venue, which was acquired by Dan and Fiona Kennedy, owners of Ad Astra Company, for $3 million. They plan to renovate the site.

President Paula-Jeni (Paje) Battilana assures supporters, patrons, and membership holders that the theatre will persist as a vibrant production company despite relocating from its historic venue in 1961.

Photo Credit: Brisbane Arts Theatre/Instagram

Paula emphasised the company’s enduring commitment to arts, education, and community.

Patrons, locals, and membership holders need not worry because despite the transition, the theatre company remains committed to its founding principles of artistic expression and community engagement.

Photo Credit: Brisbane Arts Theatre/Instagram

Looking ahead, Brisbane Arts Theatre is already planning its next steps.

Recent initiatives include appointing a transition manager, acquiring commercial units in a Herston complex, and exploring new avenues to sustain its operations and artistic endeavors.

In particular, BAT will host youth education programs, costume hire services, children’s theatre productions, adult education workshops, and signature Arts Theatre performances.

As they prepare for the final show, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Brisbane Arts Theatre invites patrons to celebrate their legacy with productions like Roald Dahl’s ‘Danny The Champion Of The World’ and a costume sale.

The company urges ongoing support as they navigate this transition and continue their creative journey at new venues across Brisbane. Supporters may purchase tickets through the company’s website.

Although this chapter at Petrie Terrace is nearing its end, Brisbane Arts Theatre’s legacy of artistic excellence and community impact endures a lasting impact and inspiration in Brisbane’s vibrant arts landscape for seven decades.

Published 19-April-2024