Brisbane council's planning committee unanimous on seven-cinema theatre complex


Heritage-listed Tara House was today unanimously passed by the Brisbane council's planning committee to be converted into a seven-cinema theatre complex.

Stephen and Peter Sourris, the brothers behind the successful restoration of New Farm's Village Twin cinema, now known as New Farm Six are bringing the Elizabeth Picture Theatre to life.

Formally, Tara House was home to the Queensland Irish Association in 2015 however the Sourris brothers will be transforming it into a seven-theatre cinema complex.

The main cinema will convert from an ornate ballroom into a 121-seat cinema room, maintaining its original layout.

The other six cinemas would range in size from 18 to 57 seats.

The transformation of this heritage-listed building has been greatly endorsed by both Liberal National Party and Labor councillors, along with Greens councillor Jonathan Sri.

"It’s an excellent result for a landmark building that had stood unoccupied since the collapse of the Irish Club.” said city planning chairman Julian Simmonds (LNP)

"This is exactly the kind of clever reuse of heritage buildings that we want to see, where we're not only retaining the heritage fabric, but we're actually improving it as a result," he said.

In 2011 Brisbane lost the nearby Regent Cinema along with much of its distinctive and irreplaceable character. A sentiment shared by Labour councillor Shayne Sutton.

"Only a couple of years ago, the Regent cinema closed its doors because it wasn't viable and now we've lost that heritage," she said.

“The Sourris family had done a most amazing  job at New Farm and they were well suited to do the same to Tara House.” said local central ward councillor Vicki Howard (LNP).

"To see that this is happening again in Elizabeth Street is truly a wonderful thing," she said.

"The building has a wonderful history and I know the Irish were very sad to have to leave, but I also know the Sourris family is happy to work with the community to make it truly a community area."

A condition of the approval would be the re-use of the building's heritage awning and street improvements, such as a new tree on Elizabeth Street.

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