Princess Theatre & Earl Arts Centre Redevelopment

Princess Theatre Launceston

The upgrades to the Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre Complex will improve the accessibility and functionality of one of Launceston's most important cultural facilities.

Status: Upcoming

The City of Launceston is progressing a major redevelopment of the Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre.

The project will seek to improve both the Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre for patrons, performers, hirers and staff by making the complex more accessible and compliant with contemporary building standards.

Additionally, the total seating capacity of the Earl Arts Centre will be increased.

The heritage-listed Princess Theatre was constructed in 1911 by Marino Lucas, a vaudeville entrepreneur from Melbourne.

For the majority of its life it operated as a cinema and was even managed for a time by the Hoyts cinema chain, which introduced the foyer’s art deco style detailing during renovations in 1939.

The theatre operated as a cinema until it was acquired by the City of Launceston in 1970.

In 1993 the Earl Arts Centre, a black box theatre suited to smaller productions, was added to the theatre precinct.

Managed by Theatre North since the mid 1990s, the theatre has hosted a range of local, national and international performances, but has been limited by ageing front-of-house and back-of-house facilities. 

Architectural firm Lovell Chen has been appointed to investigate infrastructure upgrades aimed at improving accessibility and functionality in front-of-house and backstage spaces.

The redevelopment of the Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre is expected to commence in 2026. 

The Council will work with Theatre North and hirers to identify alternative theatre venues during construction.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will the community be consulted on the redevelopment plans?

The City of Launceston expects to publicly advertise a Development Application for the project in 2024. As part of this process, members of the community will be invited to make representations on the project to be considered as part of the planning process.

How have the redevelopment plans been informed so far?

In 2021, the City of Launceston launched a stakeholder engagement process with users of the Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre to understand future infrastructure priorities and to help identify the scope of the redevelopment project.

In May 2023, the Council advertised a call for architectural tenders for a future-focussed redevelopment of the theatre. Architectural firm Lovell Chen was ultimately appointed to lead the redesign, and has continued to consult with theatre stakeholders as this work progresses.

How will the project be funded?

The City of Launceston has funding allocated in its long-term financial plan for the Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre redevelopment, and will also seek funding support from the State and Federal Governments.

How will construction be staged?

The staging of construction works will be determined once a contractor has been appointed.

What are the next steps?

The City of Launceston expects to lodge a Development Application for the project in 2024, and to advertise the tender for construction for the project in 2025. The Council expects construction to commence in early 2026.


Princess Theatre & Earl Arts Centre Upgrades - News

DA to be lodged for Princess Theatre project this year - May 2024

Planning for Princess Theatre upgrades underway - January 2024