The Townsville Civic Theatre will reopen this weekend following ongoing closure and repair from February’s monsoon.
More than $5 million in damages were sustained by the theatre during the unprecedented weather event; causing most of the 2019 theatre season to be cancelled, postponed or relocated to other venues around the City and greater Townsville Region.
Councillor Colleen Doyle, Community and Cultural Development Chair said the water damage was extensive.
“There was a lot of water damage that you can’t see in the orchestra pit but like everybody else in Townsville, the mould monster also inhabited the theatre, so there’s been an awful lot of work done there on the walls, the ceilings – you name it, it got hit,” said Cr Doyle.
“It was pretty stressful for the Arts community, as it was for all of our residents within the community, because two of our major performing venues were affected.
“Some shows were cancelled, some were relocated and rescheduled. Kinky Boots for instance was fortunate enough to be rescheduled for March next year, so I think the performing arts groups within this community have pulled together; those who have venues have been outstanding in terms of their support; and some of the groups have used their own venues which has given another twist to performances in Townsville,” Cr Doyle said.
Deputy Mayor Les Walker said the repairs to the Civic Theatre would improve the venue’s resiliency in case of future significant rain events.
“The team has looked at all sorts of things to make it much more resilient in so many different ways and the last aspect of that is coating the outside of the building with a coat of paint to help sharpen the building up and make it more resilient in major monsoon and wet events,” said Cr Walker.
“The drainage, the duct work coming in, the waterproofing and how we manage that going forward with emergency power back-up [have also been considered].
“The team’s done a great job … and even though we open up this weekend, we’ve got a little bit more to go through November/December this year.”
The Civic Theatre’s reopening is well-timed, with nearing sold-out performance of Swan Lake by the Russian Imperial Ballet this Saturday and Sunday evenings.
“This is a world class act opening the theatre this weekend,” said Cr Walker.
“It’s very, very important that we get the theatre reopened and what a way to do it with one of the best acts in the world.”
Flood repairs of Riverway Arts Centre are still underway, with the expanding scope of works currently expected to be complete sometime between February and April 2020.