Conserving Horsham Theatre's heritage

Horsham Theatre by Horsham Historical Society.png

Council intends to undertake a conservation management plan for the Horsham Theatre. 

We want to hear your experiences and memories of times spent at the historic building.

Understanding public value

The Horsham Theatre is a popular and important entertainment venue for Horsham residents and the wider Wimmera region.

In order to understand more about the social value our community holds for it, we want to hear your experiences and memories of times spent at the Horsham Theatre, which may have been a place where:

  • Special occasions have been celebrated
  • You spent your school holidays hanging around
  • You saw a film that changes your viewpoint on life and/or inspired you
  • Romances have blossomed or failed
  • Other events have been attended or memories have been made

Intangible attributes such as the use of the theatre as a cinema and memories of experiences at the cinema underpin the social value of the Horsham Theatre and are just as important as protecting important heritage fabric and a critical part of the overall heritage significance of the place. 


Why a conservation management plan? 

Council plans to engage a heritage consultant to undertake a conservation management plan for the Horsham Theatre (cinema). A conservation management plan is a guiding document for the conservation and management of a heritage place.

For the Horsham Theatre, it will identify and record important character defining elements and architectural qualities so as to understand its heritage value and provide guidance to protect these values into the future. It does not mean ‘freezing it in time’ but rather safeguarding what is important whilst identifying ways to keep it fit for purpose and further enhance its capacity.

History and significance

Staircase at Horsham Theatre.png
The staircase at the Horsham Theatre. 

The Horsham Theatre has been a State listed heritage place since 2009. It opened on 24 June 1926 and was designed for both film and live performances. The architecture firm, Bohringer, Taylor and Johnson and their partner Ron Taylor drew inspiration from Neoclassicism. This was a popular style in the early 20th century involving classical forms of Greek and Roman architecture. Identifying features include how the theatre’s front façade confirms to the rules of symmetry and the dentil moulding found just below the roofline – all of which aim to produce a sense of grandeur.

At the time Bohringer, Taylor and Johnson were considered one of the most important and prolific cinema architectural firms in Australia. It was responsible for the design of the Forum Theatre on Flinders Street, once the largest and most exotic cinema in Australia.

Photos: Horsham Historical Society and Nicky Makin