Stop the demolition

If you feel strongly about the Regent, please email Andrew Fraser - - and call on him to order an immediate stop to the demolition and an inquiry into the refusal of heritage status for the Showcase cinema and its surrounds and subsequent development approval.

You may also want to contact Environment Minister Vicky Darling - - and ask why her deparment gave misleading advice to the Queensland Heritage Council about the status of material in the Showcase cinema, and what she is prepared to do about it.

In the latest Brisbane Times story, here, Cr David Hinchliffe suggests that the new evidence is enough to force such a move.

Click here to hear Save the Regent's Brett Debritz speaking about the latest developments with Brisbane Radio 4BC's Sally Chester-Law.

Time for an inquiry!

The chairman of the independent Queensland Heritage Council has admitted that the QHC did not inspect the Regent Theatre before denying heritage status to the Showcase cinema and its surrounds, but relied on faulty advice from a government department.

Brisbane Times has the latest on the story here.

It is clearly now time for an immediate suspension of work on the site, an inquiry into the approval process and how the QHC operates, and a new ministerial directive insisting that as much as possible of the existing original Regent fabric - including the Elizabeth Street facade - be saved and re-used in a REAL theatre on this historic site.

Original sin

The Showcase cinema at the Brisbane Regent was denied heritage listing because it was deemed to lack "original" features.

However, during the demolition it's been revealed that much of the fabric WAS original. The Brisbane Times has the story here.

Update: Audio of Brett Debritz talking to 612ABC's Kelly Higgins-Devine is here.

Not the theatre we deserve

There is no doubt that Brisbane needs another theatre, and yesterday the Queensland Government indicated that it may get one.

However, the government expects a developer to build a commercially viable theatre on the old court-house site - yet just a few years ago it allowed the historic Regent to be developed into an office tower with tiny, token auditoria replacing a historic theatre.

This is a slap in the face to the 15,000+ people who signed petitions, joined Facebook groups and marched in the streets to save the Regent.

Why a new theatre rather than a restored Regent? It can only be because they want another concrete box, not a theatre in the classic style, which the Regent once was and could have been again.

Premier Anna Bligh has dared to compare the situation with that in Melbourne, which gets the lion's share of theatre premieres. She neglects the fact that Melbourne has many marvellously restored old theatres such as the Princess, Regent and His Majesty's.

And, of course, any new theatre would be in the relative backblocks of George Street, not on Brisbane's original "Broadway" of Queen Street, where the Regent is, barely, the last theatre standing.

Last chance to see

Scaffolding is being raised around the doomed Elizabeth Street facade of the Regent Theatre, so this is probably the last view you'll get of it. Have a good, hard look at what the powers-that-be in Queensland are happy to see lost forever:

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