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Garrick Theatre (Sydney)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Garrick Theatre, later Tivoli Theatre
Castlereagh Street; Tivoli Theatre hall 35186.jpg
Address79–83 Castlereagh Street
Coordinates33°52′13″S 151°12′34″E / 33.87015°S 151.20945°E / -33.87015; 151.20945
Years active1890–1929

The Garrick Theatre was a theatre and music hall at 79–83 Castlereagh Street in Sydney from 1890 to 1929. The theatre was renamed the Tivoli Theatre in 1893 and operated as a popular vaudeville venue. It was destroyed by fire in 1899 and rebuilt. The theatre closed in 1929.


The location of the Garrick Theatre on Castlereagh Street in Sydney had a history of use for entertainment venues including a circus (Olympic Circus 1851–1852), a theatre (including the Royal Marionette Theatre of Australia, and the Royal Albert Theatre, 1852–1854), a dance hall (Scandinavian Hall)[1] a variety house (Victoria Hall 1880s) and finally as the Academy of Music.[2] In 1887 the Colonial Architect forced the closure of the venue[2][3] and three years later in 1890 it was demolished to make way for the Garrick Theatre.[2]


Garrick Theatre

Garrick Theatre on Castlereagh Street looking north, Sydney, New South Wales, ca. 1890
Garrick Theatre on Castlereagh Street looking north, Sydney, New South Wales, ca. 1890

The Garrick Theatre was designed by the architect E. Weitzel,[4][5] built by Messrs. Brown and Tapson[5] and the principal decorators were Messrs. H. H. Groth, Jun., and Co. and the ceiling murals were painted by Lorenzini.[5] The building was in the Federation Free Classical architectural style.[6]

The auditorium of the theatre was 45 ft x 55 ft and could seat approximately 1,000 people in the stalls, orchestra chairs, dress circle, family circle, and private boxes.[5]

The Garrick Theatre opened on 22 December 1890.[7]

Tivoli Theatre

In February 1893 Harry Rickards, the vaudeville showman, took over the lease of the Garrick Theatre renaming it the Tivoli Theatre.[7][8][9][10] He made some changes to the building, raising the orchestra pit and installing another sliding roof and opened on 18 February 1893.[2]

The building was destroyed by fire in 1899.[11][12] It was rebuilt after the fire with a new building behind the remaining facade of the former theatre[8] and reopened on 12 April 1900.[13] The new building was larger and could seat 1,200 people.[8] A collection of the Tivoli Theatre programs from 1893 to 1912 is held in the collections of the State Library of New South Wales.[14]

Following Rickards death the Tivoli Theatre continued to operate until J. C. Williamson's closed it down in 1929.[15][16]

See also


  1. ^ "REMINISCENCES OF THE STAGE". The Referee (1583). 2 May 1917. p. 14. Retrieved 3 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ "ACADEMY OF MUSIC". The Sydney Morning Herald (15, 483). 9 November 1887. p. 4. Retrieved 3 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ Thorne, Ross; University of Sydney. Architectural Research Foundation, Theatre buildings in Australia to 1905: from the time of the First Settlement to arrival of cinema, ISBN 978-0-9500853-0-2
  5. ^ a b c d "GARRICK". The Sydney Morning Herald (16, 456). 20 December 1890. p. 10. Retrieved 2 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Sydney Architecture Images – Demolished- TIVOLI THEATRE [1]". Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Theatres / Venues: New South Wales". Australian Variety Theatre Archive. 9 April 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "Harry Rickards's Tivoli". Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  9. ^ Tivoli souvenir : comprising: The history of the Tivoli; The life story of Harry Rickards, and biographical sketches of artists who had appeared at the Tivoli, Tivoli Theatre?, 1913, retrieved 2 February 2017
  10. ^ Anderson, Gae (2009), Tivoli king : life of Harry Rickards vaudeville showman, Allambie Press, ISBN 978-0-646-50980-8
  11. ^ "THE TIVOLI THEATRE FIRE". Goulburn Evening Penny Post. 14 September 1899. p. 4. Retrieved 2 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ "THE TIVOLI THEATRE FIRE". The Sydney Morning Herald (19, 189). 13 September 1899. p. 5. Retrieved 2 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ "THE OLD GARRICK". The Sydney Morning Herald (31, 639). 27 May 1939. p. 13. Retrieved 2 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ Tivoli Theatre (Sydney, N.S.W.) (1893), [Tivoli programmes], retrieved 2 February 2017
  15. ^ Parsons, Philip; Chance, Victoria (1997), Concise companion to theatre in Australia (Revised and abridged from "Companion to theatre in Australia" ed.), Currency Press, ISBN 978-0-86819-499-8
  16. ^ Irvin, Eric (1985), Dictionary of the Australian theatre 1788-1914, Hale & Iremonger, ISBN 978-0-86806-127-6
This page was last edited on 27 June 2020, at 13:49
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