Spotlight on Business: Canberra Theatre Centre

As of 1 January 2018, the management of the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy transferred from In The City Canberra to the City Renewal Authority. Views expressed in these articles may not reflect the views of the Authority.

Bruce Carmichael has been the director of the Canberra Theatre Centre for over a decade.

Canberra Theatre Centre is Canberra’s premier performing arts venue, providing world-class performing arts and entertainment to the people of Canberra and surrounding regions.

“Back when the Canberra Theatre Centre was first opened in 1965 there was no Canberra Centre – it was the Monaro Shopping Mall. The city looked nothing like it does today,” Bruce said.

“With the growth of the Canberra Centre and the Braddon precincts, it has impacted foot traffic in our precinct,” said Bruce.

However, both the ACT government and the private sector are working to inject life back into the surrounding areas.

“What we’re seeing now is the ACT government beginning to re-invigorate the area – with the new Constitution Avenue upgrades in particular,” he said.

“Things like the upcoming Constitution Place re-development will completely change the feel of the precinct when complete.”

However, in terms of improvements to the precinct surrounding the Canberra Theatre Centre, Bruce feels there is more to be done.

“In order to really improve the area, it’s about increasing foot traffic and providing business for local restaurants and cafes,” he said.

The Canberra Theatre Centre puts a lot back into the local economy, in return, it would like to see improvements to the surrounding area.

“We employ over 120 staff, and we inject $16 million into the local economy every year,” Bruce said.

“Over the last 9 years, visitors to the theatre have increased from 100,000 to 220,000 per year. That’s 220,000 people visiting the city, 30-40,000 who are from interstate.”

However, the Canberra Theatre Centre is need of a revamp to attract bigger crowds to the area and to do this they need the help of the government.

“We’ve actually put in a bid for a business case to the ACT government to add a 2,000-seat theatre. If this went ahead, it would open up Canberra for really major international acts which would change the future of civic,” Bruce said.

Some of Bruce’s suggested improvements to the Canberra Theatre Centre precinct include:

–    Theatre lane turned into a shared zone to improve user experience;

–    Safe and secure locations for patron’s bikes; and

–    More lighting in the Theatre car park.

You can find out more about the Canberra Theatre Centre, including their upcoming shows, on their website.

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