The following table compares the identified shortfalls of the existing Cairns Civic Theatre with improvements to be achieved with the new CPAC.
Cairns Civic Theatre
Cairns Performing Arts Centre
The stage size is the smallest in regional Queensland.
Stage increased to accommodate full symphony orchestra (98 musicians) or ballet company
Increased depth of stage from 10m to 13.5m
Increased width of stage from 22m to 27m (including wings).
A 2.5m wide crossover is also included.
The theatre's 669-seat capacity has commercial impacts and is low by comparison with other regional facilities.
941 seats in the main theatre including 260 balcony seats and 20 box seats.
400 seats in the studio theatre (blackbox) including 81 balcony seats.
Inadequate dressing, toilets and changing room facilities.
Provision for 66 people in front of mirrors, up from 14 people.
Three times as many back-of-house toilets.
Studio theatre can double as changing rooms during peak times such as the Cairns Eisteddfod.
Disability Discrimination Act compliance
Improved access for patrons and performers with a disability.
Inadequate rehearsal facilities particularly for larger performances.
The studio theatre can double as a rehearsal/warm-up space.
More and larger change rooms will also assist.
Current foyer configuration provides for only 200 people. Similar concerns about bar configuration and the need for a covered Porte Cochere.
Foyer size to increase almost three-fold, 641m2 compared to 224m2. A new 84m2 balcony-level foyer has also been created.
The bar/refreshment service area has increased to 33m compared to 6m.
A 18.75m covered Porte Cochere can accommodate 4 car lengths or a 50-seater bus and one car.
Administration staff located in external demountable buildings.
Administration staff are to be accommodated within the new building.
The orchestra pit currently accommodates 16 performers, one entry/egress point and height is compromised in several places.
More flexible operational area with minimum capacity for 45 musicians.
Height of proscenium arch and fly tower too low for major performances and only 21 manually operated fly lines.
Increase arch height from 6.1m to 14m and fly tower grid. Minimum of 48 fly lines.
Loading dock door is only 2.2m high.
Increase to 5m/6m.