The word “coliseum” evokes grandiosity. There’s the Colosseum in Rome, which still draws visitors 2000 years after it was built; the opulent London Coliseum, home to the English National Opera and English National Ballet companies; and the enormous LA Memorial Coliseum sports ground.
Now, joining their ranks is the just-as-grand Sydney Coliseum, a monolithic $100 million entertainment venue in Western Sydney. It was announced in late 2017, but has only just been given a name befitting its stature. As Broadsheet reported, the Coliseum will be the biggest performing arts centre in Western Sydney and has been funded with profits from Rooty Hill RSL’s gaming floor. The RSL’s chief executive, Richard Errington, says the club’s reliance on gambling revenue will have dropped to 50 per cent by the end of the theatre’s first year. The Sydney Coliseum is scheduled to open in December 2019.
The Coliseum will have a 2000-seat theatre (the seats can be pushed back for standing concerts), seven bars (because the stress of waiting in line for a drink at intermission is real), an outdoor cocktail area and a free multi-storey car park.
“Our objective was to provide something equal to the Sydney Opera House or the Lyric Theatre or the Capitol Theatre, so we can attract the same kind of shows they do,” says Errington. “It's been designed to host stage shows, large musicals, ballet, the symphony orchestra. Anything the major theatres can provide, we can now also accommodate.”
It’s part of the new eight-hectare West HQ precinct, which incorporates a number of new and existing businesses including Rooty Hill RSL, Novotel Sydney West HQ, a gymnastics and aquatic centre, and a Pullman hotel.
In Rooty Hill RSL is Made By The Hill, which has a cafe, bar and Chur Burger outlet. A few other big names in food have also recently been announced for the Coliseum: veteran chef Stefano Manfredi will open an Italian diner, Pizzaperta; Asian-fusion joint China Doll will launch a new concept, Chu by China Doll; and Sean Connolly (Gosford’s Bon Pavilion and The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room will be opening Steak & Oyster Co.
The Sydney Coliseum is slated to open in December 2019.