Votes: 165

Scone Old Court Theatre Restoration
by sconstable, posted 2013-07-01

Idea Description:

The Old Court Theatre in Kingond St Scone was originally the Scone Court House, constructed in 3 sections; with the original court house being completed in 1849, jury room being added in 1862 and the new court house completed in 1882.

The Scone Community Amateur Dramatic Society (SCADS) purchased the buildings when the new Scone Court House was built and it has been used by SCADS for the past 60 years to produce an annual play during the May Horse Festival.

The Old Court Theatre is listed on the NSW Heritage Register and is a site of state significance. It is also located within the Scone Local Heritage Precinct which includes the original police station and lock up and police residence (now used as a museum by the Scone Historical Society).

With the rising cost of maintaining the heritage buildings and significant capital investment required to ensure the buildings will remain intact, SCADS approached Upper Hunter Shire Council in 2011 with a request to take ownership.

Council formally took ownership of the heritage buildings in June 2013 and will undertake significant restoration works to ensure that the buildings can be used for future generations and to enable it to become a multi-use cultural centre.

The first stage (costing over $250,000) will involve sealing off rising damp, securing walls to prevent further displacement, replacement of failed timber, roof replacement and painting of the exterior.

Besides structural work, internal modifications will be required to ensure the theatre can be used by a wide range of groups, with improved seating, lighting and sound systems a priority. Disabled access and modern toilets will also be included in the second stage of the project.

Community Benefits:

The theatre will continue to be used by SCADS for at least one production per year, local schools will have access as a production space, recitals and practice area for students. Other community groups who may wish to use the unique building will also be welcomed.

It can also be used as a function space, training days or for intimate weddings once the works are completed.

Interpretive material can also be included in the internal modifications to provide an educational experience for those who access the place.

It is important to retain our history and heritage, the Old Court Theatre is a prime example of 1800s architecture and few court houses remain from this era. If we are to retain our heritage the community must also be prepared to invest in this heritage to ensure it is here for future generations to see and use.

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I would suggest that the theatre be named after the visionary gentleman M.c.Abbot who was chiefly responsible for starting the S.C.A.D.S.Mac.Abbot. - 8:30pm, 24-10-2013

60 years of history - this beautiful building needs to be restored so our community can continue to enjoy its architectural beauty. cheryl.pringle - 12:51pm, 30-09-2013

Well done to UHSC for this initiative. I have passed it on!leigh.rowney - 12:45pm, 27-09-2013

Thankyou to whoever is behind this initiative - I think it is important to preserve our heritage and heritage buildings. Jonathan - 10:53am, 25-09-2013