The National Theatre Melbourne
About The National Theatre
The National Theatre Melbourne is located on the corner of Carlisle and Barkly Streets, St Kilda – 5 kms from the Melbourne CBD, 150 metres from the St Kilda foreshore and 5 minutes walk from a wide range of interesting and delicious dining in Acland, Fitzroy or Carlisle Streets – very handy for pre or post theatre dining or for a great coffee, cake or gelati.
In a suburb bursting with eclectic cultural icons, The ‘Nash’ proudly holds its place as one of St Kilda’s most beloved social, theatrical and architectural landmarks with a history worthy of its special status.
Originally opening in 1921 as the 3,000 seat Victory Cinema, the largest in Melbourne at the time, the cinema also boasted space for a full size resident orchestra, which became quite renowned – The Victory Concert Orchestra. Over the next fifty years, several renovations saw facilities improve to convert the cinema to show talking pictures, and through several incarnations, to make the theatre more luxurious for patrons.
From 1972-4, the theatre underwent a major reconstruction, and reopened in 1974 as The National Theatre, a 783 seat live theatre venue using the former Dress Circle as the auditorium and with ballet and drama schools and studios occupying what was once the Stalls.
There have been several refurbishments since, to improve both technical and backstage facilities as well as audience comfort. These include disabled access and modern airconditioning, a spacious orchestra pit and functional fly tower, and large seats on a single rake (no upstairs balcony) with good sightlines for the 783 patrons. Through all the renovations, the art deco external façade and internal period architecture of the building have been retained, so that entering the theatre and ascending the grand marble staircase is a special feeling which gives patrons a sense of wonder and awe at the history and majesty of the venue and locale.
LOCATION & Public Transport
The National Theatre Melbourne and St Kilda are extremely well serviced by Public Transport with both Trams and Buses stopping within a short walk of the theatre and linking with Train Stations on most lines.
Using the map below for directions you can get all your public transport options in one place, just click on Directions and then select the Public Transport icon.
TRAVEL BY TRAM
Tram numbers 16 and 3a stop outside the Theatre at stop 33.
The No. 96 tram stop 138 at Luna Park is a 350 metre walk to the Theatre.
TRAVEL BY TRAIN
Balaclava Station is a 15-minute walk (1200 metres) from the Theatre.
On street parking is available on Carlisle and Barkly streets (please check signage).
The closest paid parking is Acland Court (183 Barkly St), near Coles Supermarket. Entry and exit are via Barkly Street. Paid parking is also available on Irwell Street, Belford Street and beside the Palais Theatre.
Please note that the Coles Multi-Storey Car Park now closes at 11.30pm instead of midnight.
ASSISTED ACCESS TO THE THEATRE
Two disabled car parks are located directly outside the The National Theatre Melbourne in Barkly Street, with a modified footpath to accommodate wheelchairs. There is also a disabled car park located diagonally opposite the theatre in Carlisle Street.
The National Theatre provides lift access to the Mezzanine and a stair climber for access to row J of the auditorium. All other seating rows are accessible via stairs only.
Disabled access to the theatre is available via a vertical lift located in the lower foyer (just past the ladies toilets) to the mezzanine level foyer. There is one stair climber available to take either a standard wheelchair or mobility impaired patrons up to the auditorium or bar areas. The stair climber has a maximum load of 250 kgs and is designed for standard (non-motorised) wheelchairs. Their base dimensions are 77cm (wide) by 100cm (long). Equipment outside these limits cannot be safely accommodated. Please discuss your needs when booking your tickets.
A hearing loop is available to be turned on if prior warning is received by the theatre management. Either a headphone or neck loop is available from the box office upon request when booking your tickets.
If you have any special needs eg access to the theatre or require access to priority seating for sight, hearing or mobility issues, then please make sure you call our friendly ticket secretary as soon as possible on 1300 362 547 to make your booking. This is especially important for wheelchair patrons. Please note that motorised wheelchairs exceed the weight limit of the National Theatre stairclimber, so it is important to speak to CLOC’s ticket secretary for further options. If you need to use the lift, then it is very important to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the performance.