The Rex Theatre - Revitalise, Restore, Reimagine

Posted on 03rd November 2022

Daylesford’s Rex Theatre is on the market, presenting one of regional Victoria’s most prized opportunities to revitalise, restore or reimagine a local icon.

Fitzroys’ Lewis Waddell and David Bourke are managing the Expressions of Interest campaign for 47-51 Vincent Street & 8 Duke Street, in the absolute heart of Daylesford, closing Thursday, 24th November at 4pm.

The historic, circa 1928 Spanish/Art Deco-style theatre is in various stages of refurbishment and is accompanied in the offering by a retail space and residential home.

“The Rex Theatre has been awaiting its next storied chapter for some time. This is an ultra-rare opportunity to revitalise, restore or reimagine a local icon in the centre of a thriving tourist destination,” Bourke said.

“It’s a wonderful chance to be part of this town’s and regional Victoria’s rich cultural history.”

47-51 Vincent Street comprises an open-plan ground floor of 2,000sqm plus first-floor of 300sqm with lift access, while 8 Duke Street comprises an existing residence in original condition.

The interior and exterior of the Rex Theatre are both covered by a heritage overlay.

“The Rex Theatre could be reimagined in so many ways such as commercial, food and beverage, retail, Hotel and accommodation or cinema and other event space to again become a beacon for the local community,” Bourke said. It was designed by architecture firm Bohringer, Taylor and Johnson, which was involved in other iconic buildings such as The Forum in Melbourne’s CBD.

Bourke said the Rex Theatre property is on an irreplaceable 2,558sqm landholding zoned Commercial 1, featuring rear access via Duke Street and on-site parking for 35 cars. It is within the commercial centre of Daylesford, which runs along Vincent Street and Albert Street and features a collection of historic buildings such as the Post Office, Town Hall, and several hotels and shops.

Waddell said, “Daylesford is a famous tourist hotspot located in Victoria’s Spa Country and recognized for an array of iconic hotels, galleries, spas and eateries including the Daylesford Brewery, Lakehouse Restaurant , Convent Gallery, Hotel Frangos, Daylesford Boathouse, Bromley and Co. and more.”

During the COVID-impacted year ending March 2021, the region had 1.9 million domestic visitors, who spent an estimated $300 million, according to Hepburn Shire Council, while in the 12 months to March, the Daylesford Macedon Tourism (DMT) area saw domestic overnight visitors grow 41% year-on-year compared to 26% growth for the rest of regional Victoria.

“During COVID and a period of more flexible working arrangements, Victorians have rediscovered the state’s gems and are showing a renewed enthusiasm for regional travel. We expect this is now a long-term trend and destinations such as Daylesford will be the beneficiaries,” Waddell said.

The average spend per night in the DMT area of $198 per person per night is also higher against the regional Victoria average of $165. Day trip spend recorded 58% growth to $158 million against a regional Victoria average of 40% growth. The total tourism spend in the region for the 12 months was is $434million.

Home to 16,476 people, Hepburn Shire supports 4,825 jobs and has an annual economic output of $1.337 billion. The largest industry sector for economic output and employment in the Daylesford township is accommodation and food services.