The Heritage-listed Tara House on Elizabeth Street — once home to The Irish Club — might soon be home to the Elizabeth Picture Theatre.
A development application has been lodged for a cinema complex at 179 Elizabeth Street, to be known as the Elizabeth Picture Theatre.
The proposal, lodged through Brisbane City Council by Star Kingdom Investments and reported by The Urban Developer, would replace the site’s existing grand ballroom with a 121-seat cinema, and “breathe new life into what was a previously under-utilised ‘members only’ (selectively appreciated club” into a “semi-public commercial enterprise, thus enabling greater access to its beautiful heritage interior”.
The building was sold to Star Kingdom Investments in 2015, ending its association with The Irish Club, and it has gone unused since.
Bmag has received confirmation from the Sourris family — who were also responsible for the revitalisation of New Farm Cinemas, as well as the popular Yatala Drive-In — that they are behind the application.
As well as the main 121-seat cinema in the first-floor ballroom, the complex would include another 57-seat screen on that level, as well as five smaller theatres (accommodating between 22 and 34 patrons each) on the ground and basement levels.
Shops, eateries and other retail tenancies will also feature on the ground level.
If the development proceeds, the Elizabeth Picture Theatre would become the second cinema operating within the CBD — which would still be far fewer than the city’s cinematic heyday, when no fewer than five CBD cinemas were operating at once.
The Elizabeth Picture Theatre will be located directly across the road from one of those former cinemas, the Regent Theatre, which closed in 2009. Even the most ardent fan of the Event Cinemas in the Myer Centre would have to agree that it doesn’t have the character and ambience The Regent did, and it looks like the Elizabeth Picture Theatre will try to fill that gap.
The Sourris family have done a great job of outfitting the New Farm Cinemas with modern amenities while retaining the classic feel of the Village Twin Cinemas, so hopes are high that they’ll be able to do an equally impressive job with the Elizabeth Picture Theatre.
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