Monday, November 17, 2008

Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

Theatre Royal, CastlemaineAround 1852, a rough timber and canvas structure housing auction rooms and a theatre/assembly rooms was contructed in the Victorian town of Castlemaine. It served the rapidly growing population of diggers who flocked to the area when gold was discovered throughout the region.

In 1856, a local newspaper, the Mount Alexander Mail reported that a hotel (Royal Hotel) would be etsablished in the rebuild front portion of the building while the rear would be remodelled into an elegant theatre (Theatre Royal) which could also be converted into a ballroom.

It didn't last long as in November 1857 a fire destroyed both establishments. A new stone and brick building with an iron roof was soon constructed and that building is fundamentally what we see at the Theatre Royal today.

Of course it has changed since then. It was remodelled in deco style in 1938 giving the old theatre a modern look.

A decorated roofline with a simple stepped pediment in the centre. If you get a chance to see the building up close, it has black tiles around the doors with two lines of decorated yellow and green tiles with a thin border of orange tiles.

The Theatre Royal is the oldest continually operating theatre on the Australian mainland and I reccommend you check it out if you are in Castlemaine even if you only have time for a coffee at the cafe in the foyer.

If you have more time they also offer bed & breakfast accommodation back stage in the theatre that includes free Theatre Royal movies. How good is that!

Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

Theatre Royal, Castlemaine website


  1. Beautiful tiles.
    There's a lot of deco in Colac.
    The main street has some good facades, and there are many deco factories.
    Look opposite the Maccas.
    A house at 15 Grant St designed by Marsh & Michaelson who did the Glenferrie Oval stand, and also 239 Flinders Lane Melb.
    I wouldn't be surprised to find that Randal Marsh the architect is a descendant.
    Go to and just put 'Michaelson' into the search box - a wonderland will open.

    I Ballarat in the Bridge mall there is a spectacular deco frock salon called Davis - all gleaming black and steel.

  2. Thanks Ann
    I know the Davis Store in Ballarat, which is fabulous. I haven't been to Colac for a while but now I know where to look for some good stuff.