Home of the Arts, Gold Coast
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Coordinates: HOTA - Home of the Arts is an arts centre that sits on the banks of the Nerang River in the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Music, Theatre, Dance, Comedy, Opera, Cabaret, Kids Shows and Art are programmed at the venue, year-round, both indoors and out. HOTA is also home to the Gold Coast City Art Gallery. It was formerly known as The Arts Centre Gold Coast and Gold Coast Arts Centre.
The HOTA land was once the gateway to Surfers Paradise. In 1887, German immigrant Johann Meyer operated a ferry across the Nerang River. From Southport, travellers would follow the Meyer's Ferry Road (now simply Ferry Road) to a spit of land that created a narrow point in the river ( ). The narrow spit is no longer in existence due to changes in the river and the creation of Chevron Island but is in the vicinity of the HOTA today. From that point, Meyer's ferry would take the travellers across the river to Meyer's Ferry Road at Elston (as Surfers Paradise was then known) along which the travellers would walk to the surf beach. Businesses established along Meyer's Ferry Road at Elston which created the main street of Surfers Paradise now known as Cavill Avenue. Although the surf beaches of Elston were a popular destination, the lack of road access limited the extent of residential and commercial development.
It was not until 1925 that the Jubilee Bridge was built between Southport and Main Beach which opened up Surfers Paradise for tourism and associated development and eliminated the need for the ferry service. In 1966 the Jubilee Bridge was replaced by the current Sundale Bridge and the Jubilee Bridge was demolished. The present day Ferry Road is only southbound part of the original Ferry Road, the remainder which meandered in an easterly direction to the end of the spit and the ferry service was lost as the river was embanked and islands created.
HOTA has expanded its facilities to cater to the large demand from local residents. The facilities include:
- An Outdoor Stage
- Panorama Suite
- Two Cinemas
- Paradise Room
- 1139 Seat Traditional Arts Theatre
- Blackbox Theatre
- Arts Restaurant
- Lobby Shop
- Harlequin Room
- Two Art Galleries
- Sculpture Walk
- Cafe Arts
- Comedy Clubhouse
- Technical Services Department
- The Boardroom
- St. Margaret's Chapel
- Various Function Rooms and Spaces
- Adventure Trail
- Evandale Pontoon 
The Outdoor Stage also referred to as an amphitheatre, officially opened on March 17, 2018 with a sold-out performance by Tim Minchin. The outdoor stage is surrounded by parklands and Evandale Lake, with views to the Surfers Paradise skyline. The stage is the centrepiece of the $37.5 million Stage 1 of the Evandale Cultural Precinct and features numerous free events. The structure is framed by a 100-tonne self-supporting screen that protects performers from sun and glare. The stage is 20 metres wide from wall-to-wall and 1.4m high (from stage to stage forecourt) and includes a 5.5 tonne bi-fold proscenium door.
The Panorama Suite is a luxury suite that opens onto a large Terrace. The suite has 180 degree views of both the Nerang River and the Surfers Paradise skyline. Capable of holding over 70 spectators, the Suite is used for weddings, VIP functions, and other special events.
Showroom (formerly the Paradise Room)
The Showroom is a versatile space that also opens onto a large terrace. The room has many views overlooking a lake, the Nerang River and the Surfers Paradise skyline, and is used for events such as weddings, parties, corporate functions, seminars and conferences. Capable of seating over 500 with a large stage and state-of-the-art lighting and audio, the facility can be broken down into multiple smaller function areas.
The Arts Theatre is an auditorium that has two levels of seating that can hold 1139 spectators. The auditorium has full stage facilities for theatre, conventions, and product launches. The Queensland Orchestra and the Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra regularly perform at the Arts Theatre.
HOTA Cafe (formerly Arts Restaurant)
Opening onto a large deck, HOTA Cafe is an indoor and outdoor licensed establishment with multiple views of the Surfers Paradise skyline and serves meals, snacks, coffees and alcoholic beverages. The cafe features a Terrace Bar that opens with set performances. There is also a Foyer Bar which opens 60 minutes prior to performances offering patrons a selection of wines, beers, ciders and spirits. The Candy Bar opens 30 minutes prior to performances and sells popcorn, sweets, chips and drinks.
HOTA Cinemas offer movies from mainstream blockbusters, to arthouse and foreign films. The two cinemas play films seven days a week except Good Friday and Christmas. The latest cinema has state-of-the-art sound systems.
Technical Services Department
The Technical Services Department assists with conference facilities, audio-visual systems, props and theming of a function.
St. Margaret's Chapel
The St. Margaret's Chapel is a non-denominational historic chapel that holds receptions and weddings. The Chapel is within easy walking distance of new function rooms at HOTA. As part of the evolution of the precinct, St Margaret’s will be relocated from its current site - between an existing carpark and Evandale’s north shore - to a parkland setting on the precinct’s south-eastern peninsula.
Gold Coast City Art Gallery
Gallery at HOTA (formerly known as The Gold Coast City Art Gallery) houses the renowned City Collection of contemporary and historical artworks documenting the character of the Gold Coast as well as the development of contemporary Australian Art practice. The Gallery presents a diverse and dynamic program of exhibitions and events. These include local, national and international exhibitions, such as one of Australia's longest running art prizes, the Conrad Jupiters Art Prize.
The Gallery is also home to the riverside Evandale Sculpture Walk, an exhibition that provides a walk through a range of outdoor sculptures. The Sculpture Walk is set against the backdrop of the high-rise Gold Coast skyline.. Opened in 1986, the Gallery is a regional Art museum, and is funded by the Gold Coast City Council as part of HOTA.
Closed Captions are available on select movies that contain the technology which is indicated with a [CC] or closed caption available text. HOTA has 3 types of equipment available to assist guests upon a first in first served basis. Closed Caption Headset Receivers assist hearing impaired guests and are glasses with captions that receive the caption via Infrared energy. A Closed Caption Receiver is a Gooseneck held caption box that receives captions via infrared energy and rests in the chair cup holder. Listening assistive headsets are for visually impaired guests assisting listening to audio-described movies to improve enjoyment of all the parts of a movie, including visual jokes, visual scenes, settings and body language. These headsets can also be used to assist hearing impaired guests with audio enhancement. The audio is delivered through a personal headset with individual left and right volume controls.
In 2018 the line-up included performances by artists such as Tim Minchin, Neil Finn and Laurie Anderson and from acclaimed companies such as, QSO, Queensland Ballet, Opera Queensland, Strut and Fret and Circa amongst many others.
The facility opened in 1986 as The Keith Hunt Community Entertainment and Arts Centre and was simply referred to as "The Centre". It was owned and managed by the Gold Coast City Council. In 1993, it was renamed the Gold Coast Arts Centre. In 1996, The Arts Café was added to the complex, and in 2004 an extension was built, comprising a new cinema, two function rooms and an administration area.
In 2009 an international architecture competition was held for Evandale as a new Cultural and Civic heart for the Gold Coast. The competition was won by Super Colossal who visioned a gleaming white island.
In March 2010, the Gold Coast Arts Centre was renamed, rebranded, refurbished and relaunched as The Arts Centre Gold Coast, as part of an ongoing change of strategic direction. The Arts Centre Gold Coast (TAC) is a registered trading name of Gold Coast Arts Centre Pty Ltd.
In 2013 an international architecture competition was held for Evandale as a new Cultural and Civic heart for the Gold Coast. The competition was won by ARM Architecture Team who proposed a Voronoi superstructure wrapping for existing buildings and a new 12 story arts Museum tower with external walkway and roof lounge.
In 2018, a rebrand took place and The Arts Centre Gold Coast became known as HOTA – Home of the Arts.
HOTA is a key cultural facility on the Gold Coast, bringing visual and performing arts to residents of South East Queensland. It houses the Arts Theatre (with 1139 seats), Outdoor Stage, Gold Coast City Gallery, two Cinemas and the Cafe as well as several function rooms, a chapel and two small performance spaces.
The Gallery at HOTA houses the City Collection of contemporary and historical artworks. HOTA employs approximately 50 permanent staff and a flexible number of casual staff.
Future Development at HOTA
Delivery of the $37.5 million Outdoor Stage marked the completion of Stage 1a of the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct Masterplan. The masterplan is a result of City of Gold Coast Council’s vision of a central cultural precinct for the city’s thriving cultural and artistic activity.
Stage 1b is the construction of a new Green Bridge to Chevron Island which will improve connectivity between the Gold Coast. The $19.5 million bridge will cross between the parklands and a vacant lot on Stanhill Drive, Chevron Island. Construction began in mid-2018.
The second part to Stage 1b is the addition of a state of the art, world class gallery. The new purpose built $60.5 million HOTA Gallery will be the largest gallery outside a capital city in Australia and will enable HOTA to present exhibitions and projects of national and international scale that focus on art and design, both indoors and out. Construction began in mid-2018 with a planned completion date of early 2021.
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