Developing a historic cinema

We have a huge, century old cinema building shell opposite a station 5 km from the Melbourne CBD centre. Surely room for 3 storeys perhaps more. It is currently in business use and is solid and safe. It's area must be at least 1,500 m2 with the same area adjoining, currently vacant.

Would there be a substantial savings by knocking it down and building from scratch ?

It is a landmark building which we have with difficulty kept out of the National Trust Register thus far, so it would be a shame to bulldoze it. Do such buildings bring an additional value when it comes to leasing ?

Any off the cuff ideas ?
Let you mind run amuck.
Do it up back to it's original design. Pitch a tent out the back to live in. Then invite people around to show off your "home cinema". They won't ever actually want to see where you live. You'll have lots of friends and will live happily ever after.

Ask yourself what you want done with it?, commerical or residential.

Commercial - create a small business incubator, fill the inside with "boutique, warm tasteful office space", with common meeting, function room, kitchen, etc. Presentation room has projector, whiteboards, etc, that can be hired by the hour, etc. Wire the place up with internet, fax, etc. And lease out the offices to start-up biz wanting to impress new clients, or self-employed professionals wanting the look and feel, but want to save on excessive infrastructure (which is economical with common facilities).


Residentail - have a look at apartments in movies or tv from NewYork. You see big, roomly two story with great interior decorating. I'm talking feature ceilings, skirting, etc. Create a small set of large apartments, to be lease to corporate execs. Entrance to units has grand stair case, etc, create a group of majestic appartments.

If the architecture is grand, so should the feel of what ever goes inside.

Just a thought
Michael G
Wow Michael I am always impressed by your ability to think out of the square.

There has been a small "Peoples Theatre" residential development just marketed here in Newcastle. It sold off the plan on the first weekend - all 10 apartments from memory.

All they did was draw up some plans, get a DA, do some flash artwork and market it. Now that they are sold finance wil be easy!

I'm not sure which picture theatre you are thinking of, but there was one in Footscary, just west of the CBD which developers planned to convert into apartments. In fact they sold a lot off the plan even before they got permits (development approval)
The "greenies" in the area protested saying they wanted to preserve the historic theater so the council knocked back the development application.
The developer lost, all the investors got back their deposits but missed out on other opportunities and the building is still vacant as far as I know.
It's not always easy working with "hysterically" classified buildings