THE Queensland Performing Arts Centre, locally pronounced Q-pack, is the cultural heart of Brisbane and its beats loudly.
It is made up of four venues – the Lyric Theatre, the Concert Hall, the Playhouse and the Cremorne Theatre, as well as bars and restaurants.
It brings to town leading national and international performances from opera and ballet to musicals, orchestras and … just the best the arts world has to offer, really. It’s London’s West End wrapped up in one.
The original 2000-seat Cremorne Theatre opened near the current site in 1911 as an open air theatre on the south bank of the Brisbane River. It was owned by Scottish immigrant John McCallum whose son John, became a noted actor during the 1940s and ‘50s.
The theatre burnt down in 1954 but it wasn’t until 1974, that the state government began planning for a Queensland cultural centre ultimately to include an art gallery, museum, library, concert hall and theatre.
The first work began in 1976 and the first stage of QPAC opened in April 1985, followed by the opening of the 850-seat Playhouse theatre in 1998.
It has a pedestrian link across to the rest of the cultural centre, but that’s another story.