Melbourne's The Palace Theatre To Close For Good In May

31 March 2014 | 12:52 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

General Manager confirms this is the end for historic venue

The tug-of-war over the future of Melbourne's The Palace Theatre appears to have taken a big step in the favour of developers with the historic music venue set to close Saturday 31 May.

The venue's future has been the subject of much discussion since last year when a development bid was submitted by China-based Jinshan Investments. Although subsequent building plans have been rejected, a statement from the venue today claims that the landlord has declined to extend the music venue's lease while the planning and building permits – for a hotel and apartment development – are being refined for approval.

Today The Palace's General Manager Greg Young confirmed to that it was the end for the venue, and they would no longer be continuing their search for a potential new space.

“Numerous requests to the landlord to extend our lease have been rejected,” read the statement. “The landlord has made this decision while still awaiting approval of planning and building permits which to date, have been rejected by both the State Government and Melbourne City Council.

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“Palace Theatre management had requested assistance from both state and local government to seek alternative locations to ensure the ongoing success of the Victoria's thriving live music industry and to continue to provide live music. Regretfully, to date, this avenue of relocating the operations of the Palace Theatre has been unsuccessful.”

The venue started trading in 1860 and has been home to a number of venues, including Apollo Theatre, Metro Nightclub, Metro Theatre, St James Theatre and Brennan's Amphitheatre.

“The Palace Theatre team is extremely proud to have created a world-class and much sort after venue over the past eight years and to have been a part of its 150 year history,” said the statement. “This venue has hosted many hundreds bands which have entertained over two million patrons during these eight years.”

A campaign to keep the venue open as a live music venue was started last year, with a modest rally held in October.

There are a number of shows booked at The Palace until the lease runs out, including Karnivool, RÜFÜS, Jake Bugg and John Newman. Full list here.