The 1989 project commenced with a conservation management plan. This established that the theatre had been largely internally rebuilt and extensively redecorated in the early 1920s. The decoration is of particular interest in that it displays the then-new fashion for glazed and metallic leaf finishes. Painstaking investigation revealed many of these under layers of later paint, enabling their accurate reconstruction. Long-lost techniques had to be investigated and revived and specialist tradesmen found.
The decoration continues on the exterior, with its elaborate gold leaf highlights and sculptures to which gold has been applied in solid form. A beautifully patterned slate roof was revealed and the elaborate ironwork on the mansard roofed pavilions restored. The theatre has been returned to Melbourne as the jewel it once was.
In 2016, Lovell Chen returned to the Princess’ Theatre to restore the Stalls Foyer that dates from the 1922 remodelling. In 2017, we commenced investigations for the further facade conservation works, which are now complete.
Australian Council of National Trusts Award 1990 : Australian Heritage Award : Architecture category
Dulux Colour Award 1990 : commendation for exterior
The Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia (Victoria) 1990 : Environmental Interior Lighting : high commendation
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