Athenaeum Theatre

Athenaeum Theatre

Athenaeum Theatre LINKS

Established in 1839 as Melbourne’s first mechanics institute, the Melbourne Athenaeum has operated in this building for over 170 years.

The Athenaeum housed Melbourne’s earliest museum and art gallery and was the venue for lectures by Mark Twain and Sir Redmond Barry. The first feature film, The History of the Kelly Gang was premiered here as was the first ‘talkie’, The Jazz Singer.

Melbourne’s stands today as arguably Australia’s cultural capital and much of this can be traced back to the Athenaeum. This building played a significan role in the early promotion and development of music, visual arts, literature, science and theatre.

The Melbourne City Council met here while waiting for the Melbourne Town Hall to be constructed and the Melbourne Theatre Company called the building home for many years.

Throughout its life, the Athenaeum Library on the first floor has provided Melbournians with access to a hand-picked collection of books and reading material.  The Library hosts regular events, talks, book clubs, screen club and provides a warm inviting reading room to relax in the heart of the city.

The theatre has been graced by some of the finest Australian and international performers and is today a venue for Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival, the Melbourne Opera city performances and many other musicals and theatre shows to be enjoyed by Melbournians night after night.