Roleystone Theatre to stay closed for at least two years

Roleystone Theatre. Picture: Jon Hewson
Roleystone Theatre. Picture: Jon Hewson

THE Roleystone Theatre will be closed for at least the next two years as the City of Armadale determines the future of the historic building.

The Comment News reported in February that the City had been forced to close the theatre’s doors after a general structural assessment found it could become unsafe in certain weather.

Friable asbestos had also been discovered during an earlier routine annual inspection.

Since that general assessment a more detailed structural assessment has been done, which found “significant structural rectification works” were needed before the theatre could be used again.

Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said the tests and assessments were necessary to ensure the theatre was safe to be reopened.

“A structural assessment refers specifically to the technical assessments carried out to determine the buildings condition and any works required to make the building fit for purpose, whereas a feasibility analysis takes into account the findings of the structural assessments and considers the works required against the benefits to the community if the building is upgraded,” he said.

“This includes consideration of the needs of the user groups, in this case the Roleystone Theatre Group, and will include consultation with the group accordingly.

“The City anticipates a further report on the needs and feasibility analysis will be received by December 2018.”

During the last council meeting, councillors endorsed a needs and feasibility analysis to identify options for the building’s future.

Five preliminary scenarios were outlined in the agenda; reinstate the theatre in full to contemporary standards, reinstate it to a lesser standard that would allow the theatre group to continue using it, demolish it completely, perform a total heritage redevelopment on the building or leave it as is and restrict access.

Mr Zelones said council would consider available options after the needs and feasibility assessment was done.

Armadale chief executive Ray Tame said the two year timeframe for the theatre’s closure was indicative only and a more accurate period would be determined after the feasibility assessment.