The State Theatre is one of those venues where regulars to Sydney’s inner city streets have probably walked past a handful of times, even if you’ve never been inside. Well, if you can find a reason to go inside - just any reason, I urge you to. Located on Market Street, the easily-accessible theatre is a venue that attracts world-class shows such as the recent Festival of Russian Ballet. Any event you choose to see would be a treat though, as the building itself is truly something special.
Even the signs at the State Theatre remind you of a classic black and white film.
From the flashing light bulbs outside, to the golden splendour of the interior - you’ll think you’ve somehow crossed a border into a grand European theatre. But no, this theatre is all-Australian, and has been the case since 1929. Inside, you’ll find yourself surrounded by art deco and gothic details, so lavish that many a patron would happily wile away the evening just mingling in the entry foyer.
The dazzling light bulb display outside the theatre.
There is service to match the style at the State Theatre as well. On any given show night, you will find staff members at various points throughout the building selling programmes. Therefore, there is no waiting around in an hour-long line. There are also multiple places you can get a glass of bubbly or something sweet to snack on.
An art deco interior only adds to the glamour of an evening out.
Food and drinks are allowed inside the auditorium, which is a rare treat in theatres. Patrons are shown to their seats by courteous uniformed ushers, and there is not a spot that offers a bad view once the red curtains that hide the stage goes up. Intervals will find ushers carrying around trays of ice creams for sale, and always served with a smile. It’s a charmingly retro touch that those patrons who prefer not to make their way to the foyer or mezzanine lounge can take advantage of. Those that do decide to stretch their legs, though will once again have the chance to purchase drinks, snacks, programmes and souvenirs.
The first glimpse of the curtained stage is always an exciting one.
The State Theatre is wheelchair accessible, and has a hearing loop available on the Mezzanine level for the hearing impaired, and parking is available at the nearby Queen Victoria Building (QVB) car park. Making a night of it by dining at one of the many city restaurants nearby would be a fantastic idea, yet not necessary - as the theatre itself will ensure that you leave it's charms with a night to remember. Just be careful when you leave at the end of the night - it’s easy to be so caught up in the magic of the theatre that being thrust into the bustle of inner-city Sydney can come as a bit of a shock.
Every inch of the theatre offers something beautiful to look at.
As of November 2013: upcoming shows at the State Theatre include The Seekers - Golden Jubilee Tour, comedian Arj Barker, James Morrison & His Big Bad Band, and the Human Nature Christmas tour.
Where: 49 Market Street Sydney NSW
Why: Because you won't feel as glamourous at any other theatre.
Cost: Varies depending on the show and what seats you choose. Tickets are sold through Ticketmaster, so check out the website or give them a call for prices.
When: Go for an evening show if possible - there's nothing quite like the sight of the exterior all lit up.