Looking over plans for the $238,509 accessibility upgrade for the iconic Chapel Theatre, with Glen Innes Arts Council members Denis Haselwood, left, President Nigel Brown, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Vice President Suzie Woods, Col Woods and Kathryn Dubbu.
Monday, 28 February 2022
WALKING the red carpet of the iconic Glen Innes Chapel Theatre will again be an experience enjoyed by the entire community, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall joining Glen Innes Arts Council President Nigel Brown and members to announce a $238,509 State Government-funded accessibility upgrade.
$147,451 has been provided for the refurbishment through the Stronger Country Communities Fund Round 4, while $91,058 from Create NSW’s Capitol Works Program is for equipment upgrades.
Mr Marshall said restricted access at the theatre was preventing locals with limited mobility from enjoying performances of local acting groups and travelling shows.
“Operated entirely by volunteers, the Chapel Theatre provides Glen Innes residents with a high quality performance space and all the latest Hollywood blockbusters, without having to leave town,” Mr Marshall said.
“When the chapel was originally built in 1885 its primary use was definitely not a performing arts space and so entry to certain parts of the building can be difficult for the elderly or those living with a disability.
“Over the next 12 months the Glen Innes Arts Council will undertake a staged redevelopment of the theatre. This will include relocating and redeveloping the existing amenities and addition of a disabled toilet.
“The existing ramp into the foyer area will be extended to the box office and canteen and then onto a new passageway to seating at the front of the theatre.
“These modifications will make the facility compliant with disability access standards and allow it to cater for all members of the community – some of whom have previously been unable or reluctant to use it.
“This upgrade has been hard fought for by the Arts Council and I congratulate its commitment to making this importance cultural space accessible and welcoming for all.”
Glen Innes Arts Council Vice President Suzy Woods said the Chapel Theatre was a little gem which provides access to cultural pursuits and interests for many in the community.
“Whether it’s giving local youth a safe place to watch the latest movies or the community access to live music, theatre, performance, the Chapel Theatre is the much loved home of the arts in Glen Innes,” Mrs Woods said.
“Unfortunately, due to our access, we no longer have as many residents from our aged care facilities attending events, which is a great loss, and so we hope this will resume once the upgrade is complete.
“The popularity of the theatre is clear. During 2021 we had 4,582 people attend movies and live performances at the venue – this is without people attending acapella group or performance rehearsals.
“We expect the upgrades will encourage many more people to attend our shows and see the venue become an option for private and cooperate functions and as a meeting venue.
“Any additional usage will increase our revenue and assist with operating and future maintenance costs associated with the building.
“I am excited to be a part of this next stage of the theatre redevelopment – the first in almost 35 years since the venue opened.
“Our plan is to stay true to the aesthetics of the building and highlight features that have been hidden for a number of years.
“It’s also about making the most of the space to improve the experience for all people who attend events at the theatre.”