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Empire Revival

Home > Brisbane > Fashion | Free | Fun Things To Do | Indoor | Shopping
by Gillian Ching (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane who loves exploring quirky places with my dog. Join me on my quest to find, experience, and share fun things to do and interesting places to go.Please like, share and subscribe if you enjoy the articles.
Published November 3rd 2022
Find old, new and odd items for you and your home
Explore a revival style fashion and furniture mecca for adventurous shoppers looking to sample a collection of new and pre-loved pieces in Paddington in Brisbane.

The Empire Revival Antique Centre (replacing the former Paddington Antique Centre) continues in the tradition of showing, storing and selling historical pieces where the past is brought back into the present. It is self described as "a unique collective trading enterprise with 50 different merchants",

But in years long past, the wooden corner side landmark was once the Plaza Theatre - a heritage-listed cinema which was designed by Richard Gailey, Junior and built from 1929 to c.1929 by John Hutchinson. The cinema had 1,250 seats on one large raked level with a vaulted ceiling As times changed, the Plaza Theatre was closed in 1961.

With much of the original decoration still existing, the centre is situated an easy 3 kilometres from the Brisbane Central Business District in the heart of the shopping and cafe district of Paddington, attracting visitors and shoppers looking for something original, unique and possibly odd.

What will I find at the Empire Revival Antique Centre?
The expansive centre has the look and feel of an indoor French antique market with curios of all shapes and sizes filling the building which itself is something of an antiquity. Walking through the centre is like entering a time of a bygone era, where elegance and style bump into the quirky and unexpected.

The centre houses row after row of fascinating installations of heritage, vintage decor and curios such as pre-loved estate jewellery, clothes, furniture, kitchen items, crockery and fine bone china, toys, cards, paintings, fabrics and material, Japanese kimonos and much, much more!

As I looked at the extensive range of pieces, I found myself asking, in a good way, who owned this? Why was it given up? What life has it already lived? Where did it once belong and could belong again?

Viewers of children's television in the 70s may have been delighted as I was to find a cuddly Humphrey B. Bear toy. I was instantly transported back to singing the song of Humphrey, the fun-loving bear. Along with this were other memories from my childhood such as delicate Royal Albert fine bone crockery and ivory-tipped cutlery that had been in my mother's collection, books I had read at school, sunglasses I had seen in 1950s movies ... so many memories.

The Book Room of Requirement
At the back of the centre is one of its most curious finds. Hold onto the handrail and walk down the 4 steps and enter a small, sunken book nook. Considered somewhat like Harry Potter's Room of Requirement, the space has a single high, back chair and shelves of pre-loved books.

There are no windows in this room and limited light for that matter, just a single floor map illuminating the shelves ever so slightly, so as not to intrude on the dimness and moodiness of what feels like an ancient, private library.

The books are randomly stacked on the shelves with some choosing to sit comfortably on the floor, inviting the next visitor to pick them up, rest for a moment in the reading chair and get lost in someone else's story.

If you decide to visit the Empire Revival Antique Centre, be sure to set aside time to wander, browse and possibly buy. This is not the kind of place where you can just skim and flit through. Well, maybe you can but you won't believe what you have missed.

The Empire Revival Antique Centre is free to browse and is situated at 163–169 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington, Brisbane. The centre is open 7 days from 10am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

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Why? Antique Shopping in a Heritage Listed Building
When: Mon-Sat: 10am - 5pm Sunday: 10am - 4pm
Phone: 3369 8088
Where: Paddington Plaza Theatre Building
Cost: FREE
Your Comment
The building and its wares are a very good match. It must pesent quite an atmosphere of times gone by.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10118) 25 days ago
One of my favourite haunts x Marina
by Marina Marangos (score: 3|1235) 27 days ago
Gillian, well done on that article, that place is incredible stocked. I hope they also have the movement of stock too. Some beautiful peace’s there also.
by Susan J Bowes (score: 3|2726) 27 days ago
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