The solid bluestone walls and high turrets of Pentridge Prison are two of the first things you notice when you travel up Sydney Road, beyond Brunswick. First built in 1851 and operational until 1997, the prison is a Coburg landmark. Gradually, it is also becoming a symbol of urban renewal.
Earlier this week, Palace Cinemas announced that they will build a 15-screen cinema complex inside the Pentridge site, which they’re temporarily calling Palace Champ Street. It’s part of a larger development by the Shayher Group, which, since buying the site in 2013, has announced plans to build a shopping centre and entertainment complex.
Palace Cinemas’ CEO Benjamin Zeccola plans to ensure that the Palace Champ Street complex is environmentally conscious (like the solar-powered Palace Westgarth), and will screen everything from mainstream releases to Palace’s series of international film festivals, among them Italy, France and Spain. And in classic Palace form, you can bet that the hospitality offerings will be top-notch – here's an artist's rendition of the prosecco bar:
Pentridge’s redevelopment is yet another sign that things are changing in Coburg, as northern suburbs like Preston and Thornbury become home to restaurants, bars, cafés and shops to travel for. The development is expected to begin in 2017 and completed in 2019.
Want more Coburg intel? Here’s our area guide.