George Miller, the Australian director behind the Mad Max franchise, has announced he’s selling The Metro in Potts Point.
If you haven’t heard of the 1939 Art Deco landmark, originally known as The Minerva Theatre, it’s a relic of a bygone era in cinema houses, licked in white paint with aqua trimmings. Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Julie Andrews have all attended premieres there.
Miller has owned the property for 30 years, and used it as the headquarters for his production house Kennedy Miller Mitchell, which is now relocating to Fox Studios. Bruce Dellit designed the theatre in 1939 – pioneering a wider Art Deco movement that has made Potts Point what it is today.
“The Metro became a wellspring for Australian talent,” Miller told the Australian Financial Review. “Many found their way to global acclaim here – not only the likes of Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson, but also directors, writers, cinematographers, designers and the like,” he said. Australian stage designer Brian Thomson (who worked on the set design for Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and the Rocky Horror Picture Show) designed the grand foyer with an ornate chandelier, which mimics the crystal version that originally hung in the now-closed Regent Theatre. In the ’80s, the space was adapted into production offices, writers' rooms, rehearsal suites, shooting stages and editing suites.
The 2300-square-metre property at 30 Orwell Street is expected to fetch more than $20 million.
So far interest has been shown by boutique hotel operators, entertainment industry companies, retailers and specialised developers.