Roxy restoration in full swing

April 30, 2010

Building work on the Roxy Café Restoration Project has commenced and is well and truly underway.

The Gwydir Shire Council has finalised project plans in conjunction with architectural firm Magoffin and Deakin from Armidale.  The plans comprise the restoration of the original café adjoining the theatre, as well as the first floor over the café which will incorporate conference facilities and a museum.  Tim Russell, proprietor of Domenico Blue Building from Inverell has been awarded the building contract. 

Mr Russell has enthusiastically embraced his appointment stating “This is the most exciting project that I have been associated with to date.  The Roxy is an extraordinary building both architecturally and historically.”

Understanding the positive economic and social effects that the project will deliver to Bingara and the wider Shire, Mr Russell notes “Projects like this don’t come along everyday.  I am extremely proud to be a part of this development which will have an enduring impact and ensure long-lasting benefits, not just for Bingara, but for the entire region.”

This is not Mr Russell’s first contract in Bingara.  His company, Domenico Blue, was responsible for completing the extension work that took place at Touriandi Lodge last year. He recognises the drive and can-do attitude of the town stating ”The Gwydir Shire Council and the community are to be congratulated for their resourcefulness and foresight in undertaking this project.”

Local electrician Michael Hayes from Hayes Electrical is happy to have been awarded the electrical contract noting  “The project is good for the town.  It’s good that this contract has been awarded locally.”

As a result of the construction work being carried out, the Bingara Tourist Information Centre has been temporarily relocated to the Gwydir Shire Council offices in Maitland St.  As the building work does not impinge directly on the theatre, Tourist Information Officer, Jenny Mead, is still able to conduct tours of the facility. 

“It is wonderfully exciting showing people through The Roxy while explaining what the restoration project entails” says Jenny.  “Countless people reminisce about their associations with Greek cafés and enthusiastically express their desire to return to see the finished product.”  

And while that finished product is still some time away, the project is moving at a rapid pace. Apart from a North West Theatre Company production of “Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat” to be held in June, The Roxy will not be holding events until later in the year.  

In the meantime, the community is invited to participate in the project.  To achieve the highest standards and quality that The Roxy commands, the fixtures and fittings installed will come from, or faithfully match as closely as possible, those of the art deco period in 1936 when The Roxy was built.
While the project has been funded by the Department of Heritage, Environment, Water and the Arts under the Australian Government Jobs Fund, some members of the community may wish to contribute to the on-going success of the project.

We are therefore seeking contributions by asking the community to consider lending or donating art deco furniture and memorabilia associated with the period.  This may consist of furniture, mirrors, display cabinets, photographs or other items that may be gathering dust somewhere in the back of the shed. 

All contributions will be acknowledged.  Please contact Sandy McNaughton mob:  0427 241 582 or for further information.