More money will be required to complete the multi-million dollar Roxy Theatre redevelopment project.
A further design for the project has been released to the public for consultation before it can be given the green light by Leeton Shire Council.
This new design takes into consideration feedback from the community following on from original plans that were met with some negativity by the community.
However, all of those involved with the project do believe those issues have now been addressed and the community will be much happier with what they see this time around.
Since original funding to the tune of almost $4 million was allocated to the project by the state government, there's been a lot of change to original thinking of what the project would involve.
This has included the purchase of a neighbouring building as part of the redevelopment.
What has changed in the new design?
Roxy Redevelopment Committee volunteer chairman Katherine Herrmann said the purchase of the adjoining building was now a major factor in the new design.
"This building will give us more flexibility in terms of providing back of house amenity and increasing the circulation without impacting the heritage," she said.
"With that additional area, it has been able to afford a back of house area. What we originally had was the back of house in the front of the building. We've also been able to consolidate the toilets in the new part of the building as well."
The current toilets in the theatre do not meet Australian code, but under the redevelopment, it will.
What is consistent among the new design and the former plan is the vision for the project.
The idea is still to bring the Roxy Theatre into the 21st Century by increasing cultural and civil participation.
"We've managed to retain some of the aspirations from the original plan, which was the 'Roxy two'," Mrs Herrmann said.
"This is a smaller theatre. By having two presentation areas, it gives us a better option of securing first release movies.
"We've also really considered the different modes of operating."
Retractable seating will provide different sight lines to the stage, as well as being removable.
This means the building can also be opened up to host bigger functions and events.
Seating was a major concern of the community in the original design after the capacity was expected to be drastically cut compared to how it is right now.
However, the new design allows for the selling of tickets for an event for 676 people, the seating capacity is up to about 545.
This is believed to be more than the Griffith Regional Theatre provides.
"What we have had to try and balance is the quality of the experience versus the number of seats," Mrs Herrmann said.
"But with the different modes of configuration, we are sure we can, 52 weeks of the year, provide that capacity for the community."
The other important aspect that has changed is the increase of the foyer area, which can now accommodate up to 145 people in terms of "general circulation".
"That has been made possible with the purchase of the adjoining building and it will allow us to have a much better capacity to entertain pre and post show," Mrs Hermmann said.
Grand plans equals more money
To achieve the Roxy's Theatre's vision, council will be seeking additional funding of close to $3 million in grant funding.
If this bid is not successful, it will look to stage the Roxy Theatre redevelopment.
Council has indicated it will be prepared to loan up to a maximum $631,000 in addition to the $500,000 already committed to ensure stage one is completed by December 2021 (which is the date set by the state government to use the funding it has already committed to the project).
However, council will only look to borrow more money as a "last resort".
Leeton actor backs project
JAKE Speer has long had a love affair with the Roxy Theatre.
Growing up in Leeton, the actor, performer and all-round creator has spent many hours on the theatre's stage over the years.
Mr Speer has come on board as an honouaryr member of the Roxy Redevelopment Committee to assist with the process given his professional background, which has included TV, film and theatre and more over the years.
"I was really humbled to be asked to be part of this process, the theatre is a very big reason why I have gone on the journey I have with my career," Mr Speer said.
"I've performed and produced shows for the theatre here, so to be part of this transformation and helping to breathe another 90 years into the building, is really great."
The significance of the support from Mr Speer is not lost on the committee, according to member Glenn Saddler.
"I think having Jake on board can give the community confidence that we are moving in the right direction with this," Mr Saddler said.
"Jake has a lot of knowledge in this area. He has performed on many big stages, so by having him be part of this and his backing of the project, I think definitely shows the community we're on the right track."
Heritage of theatre to remain
THE new design concept also promises to retain the heritage of the theatre, which was another concern raised by the community.
The design promises to keep the heritage of the building, while also introducing new modern aspects.
With all of this combined, it is hoped the theatre will be able to attract big-name performers, concerts and shows once the upgrade has been completed.
Have your say on proposed design
COUNCIL is now undertaking 28 days of public consultation on the proposed design to give the community a chance to digest the plans and have any final questions addressed.
All feedback needs to be submitted by 5pm on June 10. Residents will also be able to have their say at https://haveyoursay.leeton.nsw.gov.au/.
- You can also view the proposed design in the Friday, May 22 edition of The Irrigator, including in our digital newspaper.