This week’s Quirky’s Quirk is the Princess Theatre in Woolloongabba!
Here are some fun facts about one of the oldest Australian theatres:
• The Princess Theatre in Woolloongabba has stood as a local landmark since 1888 and is one of the oldest theatres in Australia.
• The theatre was constructed for prominent Brisbane solicitor, Phillip Hardgrave and the South Brisbane Public Hall Company.
• The theatre served as a public hall which could be hired for public meetings, lectures, balls, theatrical and musical performances and other public functions, for the growing population.
• In 1893, Hardgrave sold the property to his father, John Hardgrave, a former Mayor of Brisbane.
• The building was renamed the Princess Theatre, and was used during the 1890s for live performances.
• In 1899, Brisbane draper Thomas Finney acquired the property and used the theatre as a clothing factory although it was still hired for occasional performances.
• During the Second World War the theatre was used as the rehearsal and administrative centre of the entertainment unit for the American forces.
• But from 1949 to 1985, the building lost all association with the performing arts and was rented to various small businesses, including a paper wholesaler, an engineering firm, and a used appliance retailer.
• By 1986 Twelfth Night Theatre were tenants and live theatre had returned to the Princess.
• In recent years, the Princess Theatre has played host to numerous acts including The Whitlams and Evermore
• You can explore the Princess Theatre during Brisbane Open House on 10 and 11 October.
• For more information and to book your spot, visit www.brisbaneopenhouse.com.au.