Patrons attending recent opera and musical performance events at the Lithgow Union Theatre have experienced the benefits from the installation of new seats and carpet.

“The new seating and carpet have made a huge difference to the theatre and the comfort of theatre patrons,” said the Mayor Maree Statham.  “The modern, bright folding seats are more comfortable and ergonomic and really make the theatre a much more inviting venue.

This project has been made possible through grant funding of $239,508 under the NSW Government Stronger Country Communities program and with a funding contribution by Lithgow City Council.

Since it first opened in August 1891, the Lithgow Union Theatre has been the heart of art and culture for the community of Lithgow.

By 2015 it was in decline and in serious need of refurbishment. There were no internal changing rooms, poor audio visual and lighting systems and poor facilities for audiences that led to touring performing arts groups avoiding Lithgow. In 2015 Council engaged a heritage architect to develop plans for back of stage facilities to make it accessible, contemporary and fit for purpose.

These works completed in 2020, resulted in a major improvement in facilities for performers including change rooms, storage and workshop spaces and state of the art lighting and sound systems. Further front of stage upgrades for audiences have included a complete repainting of the auditorium and other public spaces, resurfacing the timber floor and creation of a gallery exhibition space facing Bridge Street.

This latest stage of works involved replacing decades old seating with modern retractable seating and the replacement of carpet in the mezzanine.  An upgrade to the  kitchen including creation of a servery to provide refreshments for audiences is also scheduled for completion in 2024.

Lithgow Council Mayor, Maree Statham said, “This project could not have gone ahead without the NSW Government funding so on behalf of Lithgow City Council, I thank the NSW Government for making it possible.

These works further enhance the theatre’s facilities and equipment and aim to diversify opportunities for local creative practitioners to develop and promote their work, to increase capacity for community participation in cultural activity, and to enhance the ability to attract quality productions to the region.