After six years on The Golden Mile, Kings Cross Theatre (KXT) has outgrown its home venue and is moving into the heart of the city to create a brand new theatre destination at 181 Broadway.
This heritage site in Ultimo is a grand old 1890 sandstone bank sitting on the corner of Broadway and Mountain Street. Over the coming weeks KXT is being rebuilt on the ground floor, surrounded by vaulted ceilings and arched windows, complete with Juliet balcony. KXT is also taking over the downstairs level – the old bank vault – which will be a home for year-round artist support programs, community engagement and showcases.
Run by Bakehouse Theatre Company and sandwiched between six levels of revelry at the Kings Cross Hotel, KXT has long been a hub for cutting edge theatre makers. As Time Out writer Kate Prendergast said in a five-star review of a show at KXT earlier this year: “I cannot tell you what a joy it is knowing audacious and irreverent independent theatre like this is being made and performed in Australia."
While the existing venue was designed to meet the needs of the room and the pub, the new location will allow the team to meet the needs of the artists and the audience. Don’t fear though, they’ll still be hanging onto all the quirks that are loved about KXT: the traverse stage layout (where the audience sits on either side of the stage, facing each other), 80 seats, funky foyer, art gallery, even the old wooden chairs. But they’re adding in high ceilings and new cabling, level access, storage and expanded dressing rooms, kitchen and foyer facilities.
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It’s a short walk from Central Station, with buses at the door, a few minutes from Spice Alley, Glebe Point Road, pubs and cafés, with handy free parking up the road. In 2023 KXT will roll out a licensed foyer, but for now the team is partnering with friends at a wine bar round the corner.
Kings Cross Hotel is undergoing extensive renovations with a focus on live music, and will no longer house a theatre. KXT’s 2022 programming will continue uninterrupted. If you’d like to say farewell to KXT in the Cross, you can book a ticket for Montague Basement’s production of Attempts On Her Life by Martin Crimp, playing July 15 – 30.
KXT creative director Suzanne Millar says that the company will continue to deliver trademark high risk programming: “KXT on Broadway allows us to build a new home in the heart of the city, expanding our thriving and successful program of main stage seasons, artist support, and showcase opportunities. At a time when a number of the city's much-loved small venues have been forced to close, Bakehouse aims to see independent theatre makers thrive. Our new home means we are able to further support the work and development of the next generation of artists, investing in the future of Australian theatre.”