After years on the market, the disused Regent Theatre was finally sold to new owners late last week.
The news was announced on The Property Shop’s Facebook page on Thursday with a picture of the Regent Theatre captioned with the words “We’ve sold it!”.
Comments quickly rolled in from interested locals who were all wondering if the local landmark would return to its roots and reopen as a theatre or if the new owners had other plans for the building.
“Will be interesting to see what plans the new owners have. Good news for Mudgee,” Sonja Lunn said.
Former Mudgee resident Jenny Austin said hearing the news brought back a lot of memories.
“I hope they keep it as a picture theatre. I’d love to take my kids there when we visit Mudgee,” she said.
Hugh Bateman from The Property Shop said both him and the old owners were relieved the building had finally sold after the work that had gone into marketing it over the years.
“We’re extremely relieved. We worked hard to get it operational as a theatre over the years and when that didn’t work out, we’ve worked at getting it sold for the old owners,” he said.
Mr Bateman said the new owners had been looking at the building for some time before deciding to buy. While it is not known for certain what the new owners will do with the building, Mr Bateman said he didn’t think they would be reopening the theatre.
“Anything’s possible really but it’s financially infeasible to reopen the theatre. Over the years we’ve spoke to numerous theatre operators in order to try and get the cinema running again and they have all said it’s just not a viable option,” he said.
The cost of renovating the theatre to bring it up to viable standards was discussed by Mid-Western Regional Council in 2012. General manager Warrick Bennett said restoring the Regent Theatre as a functional cinema – including new seats, electrical updates, and a new screen - and live performance venue would cost over $4.7 million.
Mr Bateman said the new owners had talked about ideas and concepts they wanted to try but he had no idea what idea they would chose to go with in the end.
The Regent Theatre went out of business in 2009.