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A group of people socialising on the balcony at His Majesty's Theatre.

The $15 million project includes reinstated balconies, a new Upper Circle bar and function area, a repainted façade, and installation of upgraded lighting and LED screens.

His Majesty's Theatre is one of the last remaining working Edwardian theatres in the Southern Hemisphere. Built in 1902 and opened in 1904, the original balconies were removed in 1953 as part of a city-wide order enacted because of concerns vehicles could crash into the supporting posts, causing the balconies to collapse.

A 1995 heritage architect report recommended reconstruction of the balconies as a positive conservation outcome, as well as providing significantly more space for patrons.

Much effort went into making sure the new balconies closely resembled the originals, including staff scouring local scrap yards where elements of the original balcony spiral stairs were found.

The 2 levels of reinstated balconies contain more than 400 square metres of jarrah decking and 4.4 kilometres worth of jarrah battens. Glass-fibre reinforced concrete was used to create the uprights and decorative elements.

The balconies were constructed as 14 separate modules that were trucked onsite and lifted into place using a 300-tonne crane.

The $15 million balcony restoration project follows a $6.5 million investment to refurbish other areas of the historic theatre.  

Additional works undertaken since 2018 include:

  • state-of-the-art orchestra pit lift and new acoustic treatments
  • bigger and more accessible box office featuring counters at different heights
  • new entrance at the corner of King and Hay Streets with a ticketing window on King Street
  • new staircase from Hay Street with access to the basement and Dress Circle Bar to improve visitor flow.

Lanie Chopping, Director General Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and CEO of the Arts and Culture Trust said:

“It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved in celebrations for the official opening of the reinstated His Majesty’s Theatre balconies.

“For the first time in 70 years, the beautiful wrap-around balconies that were a prominent feature of the original façade are available for Western Australians to enjoy again. 
“I serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Arts and Culture Trust in addition to my role as Director General of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

“The balconies are truly magnificent and the result of a great collaboration between DLGSC, the Arts and Culture Trust WA and Department of Finance as well as all contractors involved in the project.

“On Sunday 12 February  I joined the Minister for Culture and the Arts David Templeman to share the amazing transformation with media ahead of the official opening in the evening. The night-time event was held in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the Perth Festival and followed the festival’s opening night performance of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

“Many thanks to everyone involved, including the staff at the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Department of Finance, for delivering such a great outcome. And thanks also to all who joined us to celebrate this historic occasion. I encourage all of you to visit the theatre to see the balconies or join one of the tours on offer. ”

A ballerina in front of His Majesty's Theatre at night. The theatre is lit up at night.

His Majesty's Theatre featuring Kiki Saito, Soloist, West Australian Ballet. Photos: Danica Zuks.

A balcony with tables and chairs at night.

Tables and chairs on the balcony at night.

Lounges, seats and tables on the balcony at night.

People socialising with a drink on the balcony

His Majesty's Theatre


Page reviewed 27 February 2023