The Mittagong Playhouse is to close effective immediately following the discovery of a structural fault in the building’s roof.
Staff of Wingecarribee Shire Council detected the fault following an inspection of the roofline of the theatre.
The inspections were the first stages of preliminary scoping works as part of broader project to replace the roof as per Council’s Investing In Our Future Special Rate Variation Improvement Program.
Following the discovery staff engaged a Civil and Structural Engineer who undertook more detailed investigations. A report received on Thursday 24 October by the Engineer recommends closing the theatre until the appropriate remedial works can be carried out.
Wingecarribee Shire Deputy General Manager Operations, Finance and Risk, Barry Paull said Council had a duty of care to close the building immediately.
“With a number of productions scheduled to take place at the hall we understand that the timing of this announcement is regrettable,” he said.
“Unfortunately we only received the news late yesterday and based on the report we have no choice other than to close the theatre in the interests of public safety.”
Mittagong Memorial Hall was built in its present location in 1911. The building comprises of three individual structures that have been combined over the years. These structures include the original School of Arts building, former Mittagong Shire Council Chambers and Mittagong Playhouse.
The roof structure is therefore more complex than most buildings as a result of widening and wall removal works undertaken in the 1960’s.
“We apologise to all patrons and users and assure them we will undertake immediate remedial works to ensure the building remains safe as a matter of urgency,” Mr Paull added.
“In the interim staff of Council are in discussions with the Highlands Theatre Group and exploring possible relocation options.”