Broadway-style lyric theatre coming to Parramatta Riverside


Residents of Western Sydney are set to enjoy a 1,500 capacity Broadway-style lyric theatre, with the designs for the Riverside Theatre Redevelopment released today.

Delivering on an election commitment to transform the Riverside Theatres at Parramatta into a state-of-the-art cultural precinct, the NSW Government is contributing $40 million from Western Sydney Infrastructure Grants program.

The redevelopment will more than double the current capacity of the Theatres with a new 1500 Broadway-style lyric theatre; a newly refurbished 760-seat Riverside playhouse theatre; and new 424-seat black-box drama theatre.

Following an international design competition COX Architecture with 3XN Architects, Aileen Sage, Turf Design Studio, and Bangawarra was assessed by the Design Excellence Competition Selection Panel as having an innovative, imaginative, and creative design that best reflects the vision for the transformation of Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres.

The redevelopment of the Riverside Theatres will include:

  • a new 1500 Broadway-style lyric theatre
  • a newly refurbished 760 seat Riverside playhouse theatre
  • a new 424 seat black-box drama theatre
  • a new 88 seat digital studio and cinema
  • two fully flexible production rehearsal spaces
  • a refurbished back of house, technical and performer spaces
  • state-of-the-art technical specifications for all venues
  • a new Riverfront Café
  • corporate function spaces, and
  • enhanced public spaces

The Riverside Theatres project will include significant improvement and reworking of the surrounding public domain, improving the interface with both the river and Prince Alfred Square. The building and landscaping itself will be designed to be more pedestrian friendly and connect the river to the park.

The design is committed to sustainability and targets a 5-Star Green Star rating. The design will reuse existing materials to minimise environmental impact and remediate and restore thriving biodiverse natural ecosystems to the Parramatta riverbank.

The $188 million project is jointly funded with $40 million from the NSW Government’s Western Sydney Infrastructure Grants Program, and the City of Parramatta Council contributing $148 million. The redevelopment is one of 191 transformational projects being funded under the $2 billion Program.

Construction for the Riverside Theatres Redevelopment Project will start in late 2025, with doors to the new multi-million performing arts facility set to open in 2028.

Other cultural and community projects set for delivery in the Parramatta LGA through the Western Sydney Infrastructure Grants Program include the Indigenous Centre of Excellence ($78 million), Carter Street Precinct Community Centre ($6 million) and the Don Moore Multi-Purpose Community Hub ($20 million). More than $270 million will be spent in the Parramatta Local Government Area on 23 transformational projects as part of the Western Sydney Infrastructure Grants Program.

Visit Western Sydney Infrastructure Grants Program for further information.

Minister for the Arts John Graham said:

“Riverside Theatres has a rich and important history in Western Sydney. The redeveloped theatres will open across the river from the Powerhouse Parramatta, two significant landmarks that will transform and reimagine Parramatta’s cultural precinct.

“The redevelopment will ensure people across Western Sydney have a new and reimagined performing arts centre that will allow the arts community and audiences to enjoy more performances on a far bigger stage.

“This was a key election commitment and is essential for Western Sydney’s cultural potential and economic prosperity.

“I’m also excited about the flow-on benefits for the nighttime and visitor economies, particularly with the opening of the Western Sydney Airport.

“The Riverside Theatres redevelopment stands as a testament to this commitment, offering a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the arts, for generations of artists and audiences to come.”

Member for Parramatta Donna Davis said:

“Parramatta is at the geographical heart of Sydney, and the Riverside Theatres have long played a key role in the cultural fabric of Parramatta.

“The redevelopment will ensure that the people of Parramatta and Western Sydney can enjoy world-class performances, with several large-scale multipurpose production spaces.

“The redeveloped Riverside Theatres, with rehearsal and performance spaces, provides boundless possibilities for our creatives along with an opportunity for people to enjoy premium performances in a world-class performing arts centre.”

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor, Cr Pierre Esber said:

“The reimagined Riverside Theatres will attract talent to Parramatta as we become an epicentre for creativity with our deep roots in arts and culture alongside the new Powerhouse Parramatta.

“Our community will soon have access to a state-of-the-art facility that will attract major Australian works and the best of Broadway and the West End shows to Parramatta for the first time.

“It also offers more opportunities for local and international talent to amplify their stories in a soon to be brand new modern theatre.

“We are committed to providing a thriving cultural precinct in Parramatta and this new design for Riverside brings us one step closer to our end goal.”

/Public Release. View in full here.