In an interview with Music Victoria‘s chief executive Patrick Donovan, The Age has revealed that iconic live music venue the Palace Theatre may be restored to its former glory and former function.
An unidentified developer has reportedly met with the Victorian government to discuss buying and restoring it as a live-music venue once again.
“It could be the white knight,” Mr Donovan said, adding that the company had previously restored theatres in the United States and United Kingdom without issues.
The current owners of the Palace have been applying to demolish the former concert hall and nightclub and turn it into a 7-storey hotel since it was closed back in May, and gutted out last month, but have constantly had their requests rejected.
Cr Stephen Mayne voted for the motion to consider putting the theatre under heritage protection, but admitted that at some stage the current owners, Jinshan Investments, may have to be compensated.
“At the moment we have a closed derelict building, a very unhappy international investor and no clear pathway back to an operating cultural venue,” he said.
Music legend Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum (who hosted the last ever Anyway club night at the Palace) weighed into the debate back in May, commenting in a Tone Deaf article that the Palace Theatre was “one of the best live music venues in the world.” His sentiments were echoed by Jon George of RÜFÜS, the last live act to play The Palace in a three-night run in May, who called the closing down “a big loss for Melbourne’s live scene… It’s the musical equivalent of knocking down one of the most well loved sporting grounds in the country.”
The debate continues…