Top 10 Most Beautiful Theaters in Australia

The Sydney Opera House.
On the top of the list is the iconic Sydney Opera House, which stands as a famous symbol of Australia and one of the most photographed buildings in the world. (Image: via Pixabay)

Apart from being a place for dramatic performances, theaters are a cultural and architectural gem. They are known as cultural landmarks, boasting stunning designs and astounding aesthetics. These are Australia’s theatrical treasures.

The 10 best Australian theaters

1. Sydney Opera House

Location: Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

On the top of the list is the iconic Sydney Opera House, which stands as a famous symbol of Australia and one of the most photographed buildings in the world. This architectural masterpiece by Jørn Utzon is known for its unique roof structure, which consists of a series of gleaming white sail-shaped shells. 

The Sydney Opera House joined the World Heritage list in 2007 and celebrates its 50th anniversary this 2023.

2. Capitol Theatre

Location: 13 Campbell St, Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia

The Capitol Theatre is heritage-listed in Sydney and has a lot of history, vintage architecture, and a charming ambiance. It was The New Belmore Markets in 1892 and was converted to accommodate the Wirth Bros circus in 1912. From 1927 to 1928, the place was reborn as the new picture palace, Capitol Theatre, Australia’s first atmospheric theater. 

It underwent restoration in the 1990s and eventually reopened as a Lyric Theatre. Today, it has a capacity of 2094 seats and hosts world-class performers, musicals, concerts, ballets, and more!

The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is Brisbane is the largest performing arts center in Australia, featuring four theaters.
The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is Brisbane is Australia’s largest performing arts center. (Image: Tktktk via Dreamstime)

3. Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Location: Cultural Precinct Cnr Grey Melbourne Street, QLD 4101, Australia

The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is Brisbane is Australia’s largest performing arts center. Since its opening in 1985, this multi-venue establishment is home to four world-class theaters: Lyric Theatre, Concert Hall, Cremorne Theatre, and the Playhouse. 

Its original design is a blend of modern architecture and contemporary design. The New Performing Arts Venue (NPAV) is a 1500-seat theater extension to the QPAC, which features a stunning glass facade.

4. The Regent Theatre

Location: 191 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

The magnificent Regent Theatre opened as a grand picture palace in 1929 and has survived a fire, flood, abandonment, and multiple demolition threats. 

Following its restoration, it is a picture of elegance with its luxurious rococo interior, spectacular seating, glittering crystal chandeliers, and gorgeous proscenium. It seats 1,794 patrons over two levels.

5. State Theatre

Location: 49 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Another landmark theater in Sydney is the State Theatre, a heritage-listed theater that started its roots in 1929 as a picture palace. It features a striking style with fused elements of ornate Gothic, Italian, and Art Deco architecture.

Expect an atmosphere of sophistication and glamor from the Grand Assembly to the Royal Mezzanine. The State Theatre includes a virtual tour on its website. 

6. Her Majestry’s Theatre

Location: 219 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

In Melbourne’s central business district is the Her Majesty’s Theatre. With a seating capacity of 1,700, this spectacular theater is a painting of elegance with a touch of luxurious Art Deco designs. Being built in 1886, the theater is a blend of Victorian and Second Empire architectural styles.

While it has been renovated and installed with modern features since the 2000s, it still holds the charm and grandeur of 19th-century theaters. 

7. Sun Pictures Cinema

Location: 8 Carnarvon St, Broome, WA 6725, Australia

Sun Pictures Cinema opened in 1916 and is the world’s oldest operating open-air cinema, as the Guinness World Records declared in 2004. Apart from the open sky seating, one unique feature is the cinema under the flight path of nearby Broome Airport, disrupting and fascinating audiences as planes fly overhead. In 1989, it was listed in the National Register. 

er-majestys-theatre-melbourne
In Melbourne’s central business district is the Her Majesty’s Theatre. With a seating capacity of 1,700, this spectacular theater is a painting of elegance with a touch of luxurious Art Deco designs. (Image: Adam Calaitzis via Dreamstime)

8. Arts Centre Melbourne

Location: 100 St Kilda Rd, Southbank VIC 3004, Australia

The breathtaking Arts Center Spire is one of Arts Centre Melbourne’s most recognizable features. With its imposing height and distinctive shape, the spire has come to represent Melbourne’s skyline. 

The spire, created by Sir Roy Grounds, is a remarkable example of modernism and brutalist architecture combined. Apart from housing world-class performances, it is also home to the Australian Performing Arts Collection. 

9. Brisbane Powerhouse

Location: Yagara Country, 119 Lamington St, New Farm QLD 4005, Australia

Best described as an industrial building with a contemporary twist, the Brisbane Powerhouse has a rugged charm. With exposed brick and large windows, it was a magnificent power station in the 1920s reborn as an arts center. 

It features two main stage theaters, performance venues, restaurants, bars, and gallery spaces, hosting over 1,250 performances and events annually. 

10. Princess Theatre

Location: 163 Spring St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Queensland’s oldest standing theater, the Princess Theatre, is 133 years old yet continues to be a spectacular landmark. This magnificent piece of history is built in a mix of Second Empire and Italianate architectural styles and is one of the heritage-listed buildings in Melbourne. 

After several rebirths and renovations since opening in 1886, today, the Princess Theatre is a 1,400-seat venue with a bar, cafe, and galleries, truly one of Australia’s theatrical treasures. 

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