MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:40:31): On Monday I joined the vice-chancellor of RMIT, Martin Bean, at the reopening of the iconic Capitol theatre on Swanston Street in the city.
By investing $2.5 million in the Capitol’s refurbishment, the Andrews Labor government has helped to make this world-class cultural and educational facility available to the people of Melbourne and Victoria once again, and the results are simply stunning.
Designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, the Capitol is one of Australia’s most architecturally acclaimed cinemas. Marion was one of the first licensed female architects in the world, and the Capitol’s glamorous interior bears her unique stamp.
The ceiling is indirectly lit with thousands of cleverly concealed coloured lamps, which were used in conjunction with orchestral scores to dramatic effect when silent films were played.
The refurbishment efforts included upgrades to this lighting and sound system, as well as the restoration of the foyer, cinema projection and seating. The refurbishment also gave several RMIT TAFE and university students great learning opportunities.
Students completing a certificate III in building and construction followed the project closely as a live case study.
Photography, media and communications, and interior design students have documented the project and recorded oral histories. More than 1000 students will now use the theatre each week to access cutting-edge learning facilities and the latest research and innovation.
The theatre will provide learning experiences for students across digital media, virtual reality, augmented reality, film and animation.
Students will benefit from new industry partnerships, enabling them to learn while working with key cultural organisations on hundreds of cultural events, festivals and live performances each year.
In short, the refurbishment of the Capitol is an important development in the cultural and educational life of Victoria and Australia, and I congratulate all those involved in working on it.