Join the Royal family

Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal launched its second annual ‘Loyal Royal’ membership drive on October 1 and is once again inviting community members to join the Royal family and enjoy the benefits.
The theatre team needs community support more than ever before after coronavirus lockdowns forced the shutdown of the independent cinema and live music and events. Fortunately, they have been able to keep things ticking over in the interim with their popular takeaway pizza and boutique bottle shop and recently received a $100,000 boost from the state government that will help support staffing and assist them to regenerate their live music scene.
Theatre Royal operators Tim Heath and Felicity Cripps said the inaugural membership campaign was hugely successful in 2019 and the support it received was a wonderful indication just how much people loved the historic venue.
“With the help of over 500 Loyal Royal members, we have been able to replace 15 leather couches downstairs and restore 60 cinema seats in the upper circle,” Felicity said.
“We have also upgraded the stage lighting and sound system and worked with the landlords and Heritage Victoria to tile the foyer floor to heritage standards.”
Tim said their landlords had been fantastic, kicking in for two rows of the new seating that was painstakingly reupholstered locally.
In early 2020, work began also to upgrade a long-decommissioned area on the second level and the landlord also has plans before council to undertake works to restore the front left-hand side of the exterior wall, which dates back to the 1920s.
“Unfortunately works to redevelop the upstairs section were put on hold due to the lockdowns but once complete the space could be utilised for a number of options, including increased restaurant seating or as a function and events space,” Tim said.
This year’s fundraising aims to restore the cinema seating in the left and right wings of the upper circle and an upgrade of the cinema projector.
Tim said many patrons loved the bonuses being a ‘Loyal Royal’ afforded such as free tickets, while others just loved the benefit of being first to learn of upcoming shows and events.
“We’ve got Loyal Royals right across the region and in Melbourne. Many got on board as they love live music and they wanted to be first to hear of new artists set to visit,” he said.
“Our shows would often sell out within days of being announced.
“The seat sponsorship has also been hugely popular with many people buying a seat and dedicating it to the memory of loved ones, or to their children, so they are part of the history of the theatre. It’s a great gift idea,” Tim said.
Loyal Royal memberships start at $100 adult and $30 child and are valid for 12 months. LR memberships include discounted cinema tickets, early bird invitations to live events and special screenings, invitations to ‘members only’ annual party, welcome gift pack and loyalty coffee card.
There are also business memberships for $150 and Ultimate Royal memberships for $300. Alternatively you can sponsor a seat for $550 and become part of the furniture with your own name plaque, or opt to become a business sponsor for $2000 including advertising support. To find out more visit www.theatreroyalcastlemaine.com.au

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