Winning design for $188 million Riverside Theatres redevelopment revealed

The creation of a new lyric theatre is expected to boost visitation numbers, while also attracting major musicals of scale.
Riverside Theatres. Image is a computer generated render of the seating in the stalls and circle of a large theatre space.

A 1500-seat lyric theatre featuring First Nations inspired interiors has been selected as part of the winning design for the $188 million-plus redevelopment of Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres.

The new design, led by COX Architecture with 3XN Architects, Aileen Sage, Turf Design Studio and Bangawarra, will more than double Riverside Theatres’ current capacity, and also features a refurbished 760-seat Riverside Playhouse theatre, an all-new 420-seat black box drama theatre and a state-of-the-art 80-seat digital studio and cinema.

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Richard Watts OAM is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend, and was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize in 2020. In 2021 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Green Room Awards Association. Most recently, Richard received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in June 2024. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts