HomeCouncilIconic building set to become Community Hub

Iconic building set to become Community Hub

Community Hub
A Community Hub will be developed on Maryborough Street in one of the CBD's most recognisable buildings
Community Hub
Wintergarden Theatre in Maryborough Street bun01203. Source Picture Bundaberg

Originally the Wintergarden Theatre, and more recently Blockbuster and a gym, an iconic CBD building will be preserved and revitalised as a Community Hub.

The project is one of the first to be delivered as part of Bundaberg Regional Council’s vision for a Civic and Cultural Arts Precinct.

The hub, located on Maryborough Street, will provide permanent office space for a range of community groups in addition to low-cost rooms for hire for not-for-profit and community organisations.

The design and renovation of the building was funded in Council’s most recent budget.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said the aim of the Civic and Cultural Arts Precinct, which would also include a new art gallery, performing arts theatre and Council service centre, was to inject new life into the CBD.

“But of course, the heart of any city is its community groups and organisations,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“This Community Hub will provide tenancy spaces for local organisations, however it will be so much more than that.

“It will be a low-cost, well resourced facility that not-for-profit and community groups can use to host meetings, forums, provide training or raise awareness for important causes.”

Local architect Tomas O’Malley won the tender to design the internal fitout of the Community Hub, which will focus on preserving the building’s history while providing modern facilities.

community hub
The heritage features of the former Wintergarden Theatre building will be preserved

Initial internal demolitions are expected to commence early in 2022, with the main element of construction starting from mid-2022.

The Community Hub is expected to be complete towards the end of 2023.

Community Hub to celebrate heritage of iconic building

By the time the historic building takes on its new role as a Community Hub it will be just shy of 100 years old.

Officially opened in the late 1920s, the Wintergarden Theatre remained in operation as a popular community facility until 1968.

A significant internal renovation occurred in 1994 in the former theatre’s auditorium which resulted in the balcony level being transformed into a second floor.

The upstairs area became a gymnasium, retaining all of the decorative plasterwork and the upper section of the theatre’s stage.

The ground floor was a Blockbuster video store until it closed in 2017 and has been vacant ever since.

“It is wonderful to now have an opportunity to celebrate this well-loved piece of local history and ensure it remains in the hands of the community,” Mayor Dempsey said.

4 COMMENTS

4 COMMENTS

  1. I am so thrilled to hear the Wintergarden Theatre is being restored to former glory.
    Are there any more photos of other side with statues?
    Is it going to remain with upper (added floor) or revert to (beauty of an open plan) with, if I remember, a balcony up top in area of statues.
    I used to go to movies of Saturday afternoon and used to look up to balcony etc in absolute awe. How I loved the Wintergarden.( Saw my first horror movie there called The Blob!!)
    Jack Dempsey you have given your word that the character of the original theatre will be restored and kept. Your next election may depend on you keeping your word. Is it classed as historical building keeping it in its former glory always? As you can tell I have strong feeling about keeping all historical building of value when possible.
    Many thanks for sharing this update on our Bundaberg treasure..

  2. Great news for the Bundaberg Community. Beautiful buildings like these should be restored for everyone to enjoy.

  3. So pleased to read that the Wintergarden Theatre is being restored, not before time, and in particular, the theatre for performing arts – hopefully well designed with GOOD acoustics. I'm sure Tomas will do the music fraternity justice in this area.

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