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Moncrieff readies for reopening

Art as an act of Optimism
Rod Ainsworth and Cr John Learmonth at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre ready for the reopening on 2 October.

It's been a long six months but on 2 October the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre will reopen to the public.

During the six-month COVID closure, Moncrieff Entertainment Centre staff have taken the opportunity to give the centre a major revamp, with work being undertaken on the foyer, bar and auditorium.

Bundaberg Regional Council arts and culture portfolio spokesperson, Cr John Learmonth, said he was looking forward to seeing audiences come through the door.

“It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen audiences in the venue,” he said.

“This is wonderful news for our arts landscape and I am delighted the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre is reopening.

“The show will go on with live music events about to begin again, the Travelling Film Festival coming to town and the COVID-safe plans are all in place. The Moncrieff is back!”

Moncrieff Entertainment Centre
The newly renovated foyer of the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre

A fresh new look

Patrons coming through the doors at the Moncrieff may notice a number of new changes, most notably in the auditorium.

Centre manager Rod Ainsworth said the COVID closure provided ample time to complete improvements. 

“We had a bunch of projects which were planned throughout the year, so we pushed them all together,” he said.

“We’ve upgraded all the front of house, food and beverage service areas and the auditorium and the ticketing system and the point of sale systems have been upgraded too. We’ve done as much as a we possibly can in this time.”

Rod said the auditorium has been designed to improve the sound quality for live performances.

“The auditorium will look incredibly different,” he said.

“It’s more of a variable acoustic, so we can have great acoustics for cinema and for amplified events and then we can automatically pull the curtains up and get a great live sound for orchestras, live theatre and other non-amplified events. It allows for the best of both worlds.”

The Moncrieff Auditorium House Lights upgrade was funded in part by the COVID Works for Queensland program

Resprung booklet
The aptly called resprung booklet, launched on 21 September, highlights the feast of exclusive events coming to the region along with a variety of holiday events.

Revised program launched

The Moncrieff Entertainment Centre has also rebooted its official program, with the release of the new Resprung booklet just in time for the reopening.

Resprung highlights the feast of exclusive events coming to the region along with a variety of holiday events.

“We’ve got a whole bunch of cinema events starting with a free movie for the kids on 2 October,” Rod said.

“We’ve also got the travelling film festival and it’s fantastic that we’ve got that as we smashed records last year and it’s immensely popular.”

“Then there’s also a couple of live events that are happening such as Mzaza with their show The Birth and Death of Stars. Mzaza are a fantastic folk band out of Ipswich.”

Rod Ainsworth Moncrieff Entertainment Centre
The Moncrieff Entertainment Centre has rebooted their programming with the release of the new Resprung booklet just in time for the reopening on 2 October.

Looking to the future

Once the theatre has reopened, Rod and the team are faced with imagining what the future might look like, but plans are already being made for 2021.

“We’re already looking at putting together a great program for 2021 which includes all the things that we postponed this year and turn next year into a cracker,” he said.

“We’re also beginning to program 2022.

“We are proud to be able to open and to offer our patrons a brand-new feel and it's our pleasure to continue to add to the cultural, social and economic fabric of our community.”

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2 COMMENTS

2 COMMENTS

  1. When do you anticipate hosting live drama? It’s all about music of one sort or another. There’s a good reason why The Mousetrap has enjoyed such a phenomenal run. No, I don’t expect that kind of commitment, but even one play a year would be appreciated. Perhaps something light and popular to start with so that it would attract a larger audience. Then you move to the odd Shakespeare as drama gained popularity and the public discovered what they had been missing. Thanks for this opportunity to share my views.

  2. Thanks Joan for your feedback and interest in live drama. We agree with you that drama is an important part of what a performing arts centre should be presenting and we had a great line-up of some of the country’s best in 2020. You’d appreciate that the pandemic has put paid to that and all of those events have either been cancelled or postponed. We are working with the companies we’ve made commitments to in 2020 to get those shows back on in 2021 or 2022. This includes work for children and families, opera, circus and some terrific plays (new ones and some that will be well known). Please do stay tuned for our 2021 program.

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