Theatre Royal

Opening night of Hollywood Hotel Revue at Theatre Royal, Sydney, 23 September 1938. Photographer Sam Hood. (Image source: Wikipedia)
Sydney's Theatre Royal, circa 2019. (Image source: Limelight Magazine)

In the 1972 financial year the infrastructure and development company Lendlease, headed at the time by G. Dusseldorf, boasted the highest profits of all developers in the country. The following year they began a huge inner-city development project in conjunction with the MLC insurance company. It was realised during preliminary demolition that the Royal Theatre would be destroyed and the Actors Equity union stepped up and requested a green ban be placed on the building.

Though Actors Equity gained the support of the BLF and the FEDFA the original building could not be saved. However, the pressure placed on Lendlease by these fighters was enough to reach a compromise and earn a promise from Dusseldorf that a new theatre, devoted to live theatrical performance, would be incorporated into the high-rise being built on the site.

Anne Summers, Wendy Bacon, Dave Morrisey, Ruth Gregory and Syd Shelton, The little green book: the facts on green bans, 1973.

Research provided by Isabella Maher


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