State Theatre (Melbourne)

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State Theatre
Address 100 St Kilda Road
Owner Victorian Arts Centre Trust
Capacity 2079
Current use Live Theatre, Opera, Ballet, Dance
Opened October 1984
Architect Roy Grounds

Melbourne's original State Theatre was built in 1929 to seat 3,371 patrons and is situated on Flinders Street. It was conceived as an "atmospheric auditorium", a novelty in Melbourne at the time. Another notable feature was the dual-console Wurlitzer organ, the first to be built "west of Chicago", and since relocated to the Moorabbin Town Hall[1] in 1967. The State Theatre was renamed the Forum in 1963.[2]

The current State Theatre opened in 1984 and is part of the Arts Centre located by the Yarra River and St Kilda Road, the city's main thoroughfare. The State Theatre is a venue for ballet, opera and other productions (but not plays, which are performed in The Playhouse and elsewhere). Like the other performance venues within the Arts Centre, the State Theatre is underground. The stage is one of the largest in the world.

Companies performing opera in the State Theatre include Opera Australia (which has presented seven or eight operas each season). The first opera in the State Theatre was the new John Copley production of Don Carlos, (Verdi) in 1984 by the Victoria State Opera.[3]

The theatre is frequently home to The Production Company, a theatre company specialising in short season revivals of classic Broadway musicals.


  1. ^ "Town Hall, Moorabbin". Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  2. ^ "Encyclopaedia of Australian Theatre Organs: State, Melbourne". Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  3. ^ Hince, Kenneth (1984). "The Victoria State Opera". Meanjin. 43 (1): 123–8. ISSN 0025-6293. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 

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Coordinates: 37°49′13″S 144°58′6″E / 37.82028°S 144.96833°E / -37.82028; 144.96833