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Alex Theatre St Kilda

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by Leona (Devaz) Fensome (subscribe)
Savour | Capture | Write www.leonadevaz.com
Event:
New Name, New Vision for The George in St Kilda
Launch of the Alex Theatre, St Kilda
Launch of the Alex Theatre, St Kilda


The new arts hub being created on the site of the old George Cinemas in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda announced a name change for the site two weeks ago. It will now be known as Alex Theatre St Kilda. The new venue will house two state-of-the-art theatres and a professional rehearsal space/black box theatre catering for the arts and entertainment community, while still having the capability to operate as a cinema.

The Minister for the Arts, Hon. Heidi Victoria MP, as well as the Shadow Minister for the Arts, Martin Foley MP, made the announcement on the Friday 12th November .

Founder and Managing Director of the project, entrepreneur Mr. Aleksander Vass has invested $1 million dollars in the refurbishment, signifying one of the largest private investments in the arts in Victoria in recent years. Mr Vass said the name of the site had to change because the existing George Hotel, bars and restaurants all have their own strong identities and so it was time for the new arts hub to forge its own identity.

Gen Mgr Richard Fitzgerald, John Michael Howson, Minister Heidi Victoria
Gen Mgr Richard Fitzgerald, John Michael Howson, Minister Heidi Victoria

"The Alex Theatre name has ties with Victoria's stage history, being one of the first successful venues established in the 1800s. Also, worldwide it's the name of iconic venues, so I take it all as a good omen," said Mr. Vass. "It was also important to have St Kilda in the title because we are the newest part of an edgy, rich arts culture that keeps on giving to locals and visitors alike."

"St Kilda residents have been blunt in telling me how much they want our theatres to succeed. Now we need to get the rest of Victoria to sit up and take notice."
Alex Theatre St Kilda will program live shows and cinema, and will work as an 'attractor' to the cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars in the area.

"We have created a professional rehearsal space that could see multi-million dollar musicals rehearse during the day and then we'd screen movies in the same space at night," said Mr. Vass.
Alex Theatre St Kilda General Manager Richard Fitzgerald says all is on track for the proposed opening next February.

"We are on-track for a February 1 opening, with some very exciting shows already booked in and our listing as a venue for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2015."

Gen Mgr Richard Fitzgerald and owner Aleksander Vass
Gen Mgr Richard Fitzgerald and owner Aleksander Vass

"We are thrilled to announce Ticketek as our ticketing partner. It's a huge boost for our smaller and mid-range shows to have access to Australia's biggest entertainment company," Mr. Fitzgerald said.
The Ticketek team has worked hard with us to create simple, straightforward and supportive approach which will be better for our audiences and producers."

Launch of the Alex Theatre, St Kilda
Launch of the Alex Theatre, St Kilda


Alex Theatre St Kilda will open in February 2015, providing a new arts hub for St Kilda and greater Melbourne. The exciting new developments are detailed below:

ALEX THEATRE ST KILDA THEATRE 1

Approx. 500 seat venue
Has a modular, adjustable stage
New seats
Refurbished room fixtures
The lighting gantry will create a proscenium effect, allowing space for a band off stage
Can be used as a cinema or live theatre venue

ALEX THEATRE ST KILDA THEATRE 2

Approx. 330 seat venue
Has a modular, adjustable stage
New seats
Refurbished room fixtures
The lighting gantry will create a proscenium effect, allowing space for a band off stage
Can be used as a cinema or live theatre venue

ALEX THEATRE ST KILDA THE STUDIO / REHEARSAL ROOM

A black box venue with portable seating configuration to 250 seats
A sprung floor for use as a rehearsal space
Wall mirrors and portable ballet barres
Retractable floor to ceiling curtains
Floor space approx. 15.5m x 10.8m for rehearsal or seating
Can be used as a cinema, live theatre venue, breakout space or rehearsal space

About the Vass Theatre Group

The Vass Theatre Group is the brain child of Aleksander Vass, successful business man and entrepreneur. His company, Glasskote is Australia's largest independent glass manufacturer and has offices or licenses in 48 different countries around the world.

Aleksander has had a life-long passion for the entertainment industry, appearing as an actor on stage and television and then moving to producing and investing in shows like Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol and It's a Dad Thing to backing several Australian movies.

After spending the last few years focusing on business interests overseas, Aleksander returned to Australia with his young family and decided to reconnect with the entertainment industry through creating new live venues.

Alex Theatre St Kilda is the first of these projects. Vass Theatre Group will also, from time to time produce work in its venues. At this point in time there are four new venue projects under consideration by the group. Three are in Victoria.

Richard Fitzgerald is the General Manager of the Vass Theatre Group. Richard is the former GM of Her Majesty's Theatre Melbourne and The Darwin Entertainment Centre (Darwin Arts Centre). He is also a respected media adviser/journalist and has appeared extensively on radio and television.

Gen Mgr Richard Fitzgerald
Gen Mgr Richard Fitzgerald


The Alex Theatre St Kilda is the first privately owned, commercial venue that can house live theatre with 500 seats in St Kilda and greater Melbourne.

It will be an arts hub allowing for live performance, cinema, rehearsal and development space for live work and cinema. (A new film is set to rehearse and then shoot some scenes in January 2015.)

Melbourne's newest arts hub is ideal for art installations, exhibitions, festivals and children's programming, as well as promoting strong engagement with the local community.


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When: Opening February 2015
Where: Level 1, 135 Fitzroy Street St Kilda
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