The Palais theatre will be crumbling down after the council resolved to demolish the 94-year-old theatre, and completely refurbish the Town Hall.
The Bogan Shire Council approved plans for the reconstruction of the Palais theatre at the site of the Nyngan Town Hall at last month’s council meeting.
Bogan Shire Mayor Ray Donald said the front of the Town Hall would remain due to its heritage listing, however the rest of the building would be knocked down to make way for a new regional cultural centre.
Nyngan’s historic Palais Theatre will be knocked to the ground to make way for seniors rental accommodation.
“With the Palais theatre we’ve decided not to do anything more to it, just to knock it down,” Cr Donald said.
“Instead of trying to have two areas, we’re better off in a small town, to just have one.”
Late last year a survey was sent to all ratepayers and residents explaining the situation and structural engineers report seeking community input into suggested options for the facility.
The most popular decision, with 80 responses, preferred a reconstruction on the current site, with 32 suggesting a new facade. However the remaining responses preferred a reconstruction on another site.
“I know the survey we had tended to favour the retention of it, but since then we’ve had a good look at it with experienced eyes and really we wouldn’t know how much it was going to cost to renovate it until virtually it was completely demolished,” Cr Donald said.
“We can’t afford to renovate and maintain two similar buildings.
“The site of the Palais theatre is suitable for more seniors rental accommodation and it would be very un-economic to try and restore it as opposed to having one building that can be replaced and renewed to provide all the aspects that the Palais did.”
Cr Donald said the demolition would be funded through the council’s resources, but assured that items of history and sentiment would be retained.
“We’re going to make sure we keep certain parts of it. It’s only the building that’s demolished, we’ll either keep or sell anything in there that’s of any value, sentimental or otherwise,” he said.
He said plans for the new facility at the Town Hall included tiered theatre seating to accommodate approximately 300 people which could be pushed back to use the lower section as an open area, and would also have space for indoor and outdoor functions rooms.
“The stage will be about as big as there is in the Palais theatre now, and there will be changing rooms and storage areas, toilets at the back, then on the Library side there will be an indoor or outdoor function area with a new kitchen,” Cr Donald said.
“The indoor part will have seats and chairs for about 100 people, then outdoor can be used for the same reason as a barbecue area.”
Cr Donald said that it was estimated the new multipurpose facility would cost around $8 million and depend entirely on government grants.
“We asked [the architect] and he suggested around about an $8 million figure, that’s to pull it down and rebuild it,” Cr Donald said.
“It will probably take well over 12 months to rebuild, if we could get the money, but getting the money is the big problem.
The Bogan Shire Council will seek to get the plans costed and then begin grant applications to fund the new renovation.
“We probably didn’t think we would get lights at Larkin oval years ago, and that eventually happened, so hopefully this will too,” he said.