Sydney’s oldest theatrical institution, the Theatre Royal is slated to reopen, with the NSW Government committing to a 45-year lease with the owners. The Harry Seidler-designed 1,180 seat theatre has been closed since March 2016, when development began on the MLC Centre, which houses it. The closure of the theatre was a blow to a city in desperate need of more large venues to cater for major touring productions.

Theatre Royal Sydney’s Theatre Royal

Established in 1827, the original Theatre Royal burned down in 1840, before a new Theatre Royal was built in 1875 on Castlereigh Street. When construction began on the MLC Centre on the site in 1971, the Theatre Royal as we know it today was incorporated into the design.

“We have committed to negotiate a 45-year lease with Dexus and Dexus Wholesale Property Fund and in doing that we pave the way for a private theatre operator to run the Theatre Royal,” a spokesperson for NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin’s office told Limelight.

Following the State election this weekend a tender process will begin to find an operator for the theatre. A timeline for the theatre’s reopening will depend on the extent...