Theatre facelift takes shape

[caption id="attachment_68610" align="alignright" width="300"] HALFWAY THERE: Port Elizabeth's Opera House's R28-million renovation includes extended foyers and office upgrades -[/caption]

The multimillion-rand renovations to Port Elizabeth’s iconic Opera House have reached the halfway mark.

This was revealed by civil and structural engineering consultancy firm AfriCoast Consulting Engineers, which is working on the R28-million project.

The Opera House, which is 122 years old, is undergoing a facelift that will see it have an extended foyer and other renovations such as damp damage repairs, office upgrades, and replacement of carpets and wallpapers.

AfriCoast chief operating officer Bill Emslie said: “The project will extend the life of one of the city’s iconic structures for the next century.” AfriCoast was part of the Matrix Consortium appointed by the Opera House – the oldest theatre in the southern hemisphere and the only one of its kind still operating in Africa – for the makeover.

The Matrix’s Tony Danev said the sensitive nature of the project necessitated an application to the Provincial Heritage Resources Agency for approval before construction work could begin.

“The heritage approval was obtained following a rigorous process and engagement with the local heritage authorities.

“This includes the preparation of a heritage impact assessment and numerous public participation meetings,” Danev said.

-Xolisa Phillip