Iconic Lorne Theatre up for auction tomorrow with $2.5 million plus hopes

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Written by Jessie Richardson, Property Observer

A Great Ocean Road Icon, the Lorne Theatre will go up for auction tomorrow with vendors expecting bids over $2.5 million.

The site of many a first date, the art deco era Lorne Theatre was built in 1937 as tourism expanded following the extension of the Great Ocean Road to the seaside town. Tomorrow’s auction will mark the first time the building has been offered since it was purchased by the current vendors in the late 1960s.

The sale has some worried that the seaside town of Lorne will lose the historical landmark. According to The Geelong Advertiser, a public meeting was called to consult with Heritage Victoria over potential development on the site. The cinema’s lease is due to finish in 2016.

While selling agent Shaun Venables of Burgess Rawson says that the theatre has received interest from developers, but that many are keeping the theatre’s historical value in mind.

“Most of the developers we’ve spoken to are sympathetic to the theatre’s current use – they’re considering redevelopment, rather than development.

“It’s a 530 seat theatre, which has been full once in the last 25 years. Given the building’s height and corner situation, there’s a great opportunity to utilise the building and make a big difference to the strip.”

The Lorne Theatre is one of the few single screen theatres left in Australia. The heritage listed theatre is known for the quality of its acoustics, thanks to the poor amplification available in the 1930s. It underwent an upgrade last year and now has a state of the art digital projection and sound system.

The 715 square metre corner site with 56 square metres of dual frontage onto the Great Ocean Road is advertised as drawing $78,180 in yearly rent.

The Lorne Theatre at 76 Mountjoy Parade will be sold in a portfolio auction at Melbourne’s Crown tomorrow. It is being sold through Venables and Raoul Holderhead of Burgess Rawson and Michael Coutts and Ian Stewart of Great Ocean Road Real Estate Lorne.

Read the original article here.