It's the moment Mudgee has been waiting for.
A collective applause was issued at the confirmation of Mudgee's iconic building, the Regent Theatre being sold for one million dollars on March 26.
Dozens of patrons, both residents and visitors to the region, made an appearance at the sale that was auctioned by First National Real Estate Mudgee principal, Tim O'Brien.
Initially, a brief pause was taken before a bidder made the leap to enter the first offer, but after approximately six minutes of back and forth, Mr O'Brien declared the sale complete.
Following the auction, the new owner of the building, Bob Micola, who did not wish to speak with the media at the time of sale, confirmed he has some plans for the building.
The publican has an extensive property portfolio which includes the recent sale of the Frisco Hotel in Sydney's Woolloomooloo that sold for $10.5 million.
Mr O'Brien said while anticipation is high regarding what form the Regent Theatre will now take, it's an encouraging step forward.
"This is a great thing for the town, we've got a new owner and something is going to happen to it, we don't know what yet, but that's what we need for Mudgee," he said.
"There has been a lot of interest and you'd expect that with a building like this, it's one of the iconic buildings in Mudgee. It holds very dear to the hearts of the people of the whole Mudgee community."
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Mr O'Brien said given there were six registered bidders, with two over the phone, and the highly desired nature of the building, the outcome of a sale was likely.
"You're never sure in these sorts of situations of course but given the prominence of the building, given the history and what one might be able to do with it, we were very confident we'd have a buyer," he said.
"There's all sorts of things you could do with it, of course that DA is in place, there's the heritage order on the building so that will protect it to a degree as well.
"I think it's a very fair deal all round, absolutely. The bidding was quite spirited which was terrific. Hopefully for the Mudgee community the right thing will happen to it."
The building, which was built in 1935 and holds 989 people, is 'priceless' according to the National Trust regional branch president, Bruce Wilson who said the future of the building is a 'real mystery'.
"It's been a very controversial building in terms of what should and shouldn't be done, but the one thing we've all agreed on is that it's one of the rare Art Deco buildings that really needs to be preserved, not just for Mudgee but Australia too," he said.
"It was described as a building that's brought entertainment to countless generations, it's evoked a lot of passion and will continue to do so.
"Now that we have a NSW Heritage Council listing on it we are happy the integrity of the building will be maintained."
The Regent Theatre was placed on the NSW State Heritage Register in 2020 after a campaign of community support.
The building facade and many heritage features will remain as they are protected under the heritage listing.
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