Reclaim the Regent

posted by JayBe on June 25, 2010 at 5:04 am

BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA — On Friday 18th June 2010 an application was submitted to the EPA/DERM for heritage listing of the original 1920s Elizabeth Street facade of the Regent Theatre Brisbane (aka Hoyts Entertainment Centre; Qld Heritage Register Place ID#600140).

Due to pending demolition of this valuable, visible and indisputably iconic piece of Brisbane’s heritage, emergency listing is required preceding permanent protection.

I find it appalling that the heritage value of this original and outstanding portion of the original theatre has not been formally recognized to date, despite careful description of it within the building description on the Queensland Heritage Register, and the National Trust’s adamant acknowledgment of the entire building’s historical value that resulted in as much preservation as possible in the late 1970s.

I, and the over 12,000 supporters to publicly join the campaign to Reclaim the Regent, feel that our elected democratic government needs to very seriously consider supporting the voting public’s opinion regarding urgent ongoing protection of The Regent.

There is no plausible reason why compromise cannot be reached between developers, government and the people of Brisbane (and Australia) who wish to retain this highly visible and accessible piece of cultural heritage, if not restoration of the theatre in its entirety. I cite the Stephen Sondheim’s Theatre (aka Henry Miller’s Theatre) in the Manhattan theatre district of the United States of America as such an example where-in office tower and theatre co-exist. The fact that The Regent’s original iconic walls still stand in their entirety would surely simplify such a task- reminiscent of suggestions made by the Brisbane City Council prior to State Government intervention in the development approval.

The Regent represents generations of entertainers, entertainment and public enjoyment. The Elizabeth Street facade, the theatre’s former stage-door entrance, effectively embodies these memories and has stood the test of time, not to mention surrounding construction and destruction; a tribute in itself to the masterful craftsmanship in its construction. It must, at all costs, be protected for future generations.

As further details come to light and a response is received from the Heritage Council, I will post more details…. In the meantime, please show your support by attending rally Sat 26th June 10:30am (Reddacliffe Place, Queen St, Brisbane QLD) and signing e-petition at Queensland Parliament. Further campaign details available at Facebook

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