Palais Theatre: funding the next major hurdle for icon's future

COSTLY: The future of the Palais Theatre remains uncertain without government funding. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN
COSTLY: The future of the Palais Theatre remains uncertain without government funding. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN

While the Bogan Shire Council is making plans for a redevelopment of the Palais Theatre, when it will be built remains uncertain without government funding. 

Bogan Shire mayor Ray Donald said community consultation would occur with regard to the reconstruction, however the major hurdle for the council would be grant funding. 

“When the architect draws up the plans we can get them costed, and then on whatever site we go ahead with, we can apply for grant funding,” Cr Donald said. 

“Which is going to be a major hurdle as unless we get some grant funding we’re not going to be able to touch it really.”

“When you get up into the $2-3 million range it’s pretty big ask for a grant to cover all of it, so I think the future’s not very short term.” 

A survey was sent to all residents explaining the situation asking for community input into suggested options for the facility. 

The council revealed there were only 135 responses from 1286 flyers sent residents, which Councillor Donald said was “disappointing”.

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. 

It was resolved at the November council meeting the council’s architect will now develop options around the town hall, including tiered seating, a dual purpose supper room, modern kitchen incorporated with an enclosed bar area in the function room, retain the front facade and offices. 

The mayor however spoke to the Nyngan Observer and said a set of plans will be drawn that can be fitted into both areas, where the Palais Theatre currently stands and behind the town hall. 

“We hope [architects] can draw something up to more or less suit both sites,” Cr Donald said. 

“They wouldn’t have to be completely exact but they would need to show the retention of the tiered theatre, the stage, changing rooms, toilets and also both the theatre and town hall have buildings or areas next to them that could be petitioned off for different situations.”

Cr Donald said the majority of people who did not vote would agree the best decision was behind the town hall. 

“The town hall is going to need some attention in the foreseeable future, because of the age of the building,” he said.

“So if it was fitted out, air conditioned and really made a dual purpose venue, then I think quite a strong feeling in the community would be that we probably don’t need two [halls].

“It’s probably sentimental attachment to practical future attitude.”

Have you got memories about the Palais Theatre? The Nyngan Observer would love to hear from you!

Contact Zack Marlan by emailing zaarkacha.marlan@fairfaxmedia.com.au or by calling 0455 066 740.