As David Reyne from TV's Getaway said, "There is nothing like Back Stage at Theatre Royal anywhere in the world."
The Back Stage is located in the heart of Castlemaine. The historic streets of Castlemaine are at your door - cafes, restaurants, galleries, antiques are all a few steps away. Of course, you are only metres from the famous Theatre Royal itself.
Back Stage at Theatre Royal has been beautifully decorated to evoke the golden age of cinema, and also provides a wonderful insight into the history of the Theatre Royal with many old photos of the Theatre adorning the walls.
Stay at Back Stage at Theatre Royal and experience the Theatre's movies for free - a bonus for lovers of fine film. Private screenings and late shows in the Theatre can also be arranged, or if you prefer, settle back in your room and choose a DVD from our library of classic films.
Back Stage at Theatre Royal comprises two luxurious double rooms and a single bed under the stairs in the fully-themed Harry Potter room.
Enjoy the ornate bathroom with claw-foot bath, laze in front of the gas-log fire in the upstairs sitting room or dine in Back Stage utilising the kitchenette and utensils. In the warmer months, breakfast is served in the private courtyard adjoining the Back Stage.
Back Stage at Theatre Royal is a truly unique experience for lovers of film and lovers of luxury.
One Bedroom $220
Both Bedrooms $240
Additional Nights: One Bedroom $170 Both Bedrooms $190
Harry Potter Room - literally a single mat on floor - Free!
20% Deposit required to confirm booking. - not refundable 7 days prior to booking but transferable.
Self Contained Unit (If you use only one room you don't share premises!)
Please note - the bedrooms and bathroom are separated by narrow stairs and should not be negotiated by guests with mobility issues
This story from Postcards Magazine Issue 4. (June 2005)
Get the star treatment behind the velvet curtain at Australia's oldest theatre...
The Theatre Royal in Castlemaine lays claim to being the longest continually run theatre in Australia offering movies and live shows.
Back in 1854 the theatre was little more than a canvas tent with wooden poles and a dirt floor where miners got their rocks off to Lola Montez and her provocative Spider Dance.
Lola's long gone and today the theatre, with its Art Deco façade and majestic interior, epitomises the romance of the 1930s and 1940s when Hollywood stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall graced the silver screen.
For amiable owners David Stretch and Sarah Burdekin, the Royal is more than a screening venue for current and classic flicks, it's a "unique and historic experience that is all about savouring the moment, be it past or present."
Indeed, the foyer at the Royal is all class. It houses a cosy bar and a classy café where one can purchase all the obligatory movie confectionary, including Jaffas and 17 flavours of ice cream. Heartier appetites might plump for a gourmet pie or plate of antipasto and a glass of vino.
The wine list is basic - five reds, five whites and a sparkling - but the blend of local and interstate labels is sure to please.
We choose the less heady-option; ambrosial organic coffee roasted fresh and genteelly served on a silver tray.
Patrons are encouraged to take meals and drinks into the theatre so when the antique chimes announce that the movie is about to begin, we grab a plate of antipasto, two glasses and champers and a box of Jaffas, and head for our seats.
Choice of seating is entirely your own with two equally enticing options; the couch-filled auditorium with lounge-lizard appeal, or the balcony, still delightfully frozen in the 1940s.
As today's movie is a special screening of the 1942 classic, Casablanca, we opt for tradition and mount the mahogany staircase to the balcony. True, it's miles from the screen and the original leather seats are, we suspect, a lot less comfy than the dreamy, pillow-piled couches scattered below, but it's wildly intoxicating to be sitting so high up and the wooden floors are purpose built for Jaffa rolling - which we do with great aplomb throughout the film!
Some two hours later, as the last Jaffa hits the floor and the house lights come up we sit in silent reverie, or perhaps our backsides have just gone numb which makes it hard to make a great escape.
Truth be told, we're loathe to leave the dusty corridors of time.
"So don't," says Stretch, who appears from nowhere, arm extended like a modern-day Fred Astaire inviting this Jaffa-rolling Ginger Rogers for a turn on the dance floor.
"Come with me and you will discover that your nostalgic journey of enchantment and entertainment is far from over," he smiles with movie-star perfection.
Intrigued, we follow Stretch downstairs, through the auditorium, across the well-worn dance floor that still gets a good workout when live acts perform at the venue, to the heart and soul of the theatre - the screen, now draped in a red velvet curtain.
Gingerly, we step behind the vast embroidered cloak and through a darkened doorway to discover a most unexpected treat - a bed and breakfast that is as plush as a palace but only as wide as a throne room!
The "Back Stage" Stage Door bed and breakfast is built onto the back wall of the theatre and, as the name suggests, it is literally behind the movie screen.
This luxury space may be less than three metres wide but it is anything but claustrophobic and has been beautifully decorated to evoke the golden age of cinema.
Tasteful movie memorabilia adorns the walls and in the lounge a gas fire casts a cosy glow across a very inviting velvet chaise lounge; screen siren Carol Lombard probably had one just like it.
The bathroom is old world charm, resplendent with a luxurious claw foot bath, velvet foot stool and carved mirror. The crowning glory is the ornate crystal chandelier that swings from the ceiling - now if that's not star quality!
The two double bedrooms are tiny; there's barely room to walk between the bed and the wall but each is light and airy and the beds are piled high with downy quilts and plump pillows to ensure heavenly slumber.
If you're travelling with little ones, there's a fully-furnished Harry Potter room under the stairs that the kids will love. A movie is included in the cost of your stay and whether you're rekindling romance or courting cinema moments, Stretch and Burdekin will happily arrange a private screening of your favourite film. To make special occasions even more golden, they will even put your names up in lights, Hollywood-style.
2 bedrooms - both with double beds Harry Potter room - single bed under stairs Off Street Parking - lockable Kitchenette Microwave Fridge CD/DVD player Classic film DVD library Tea and Coffee facilities Continental Breakfast in your room Free movies at Theatre Royal
private movie screenings
ADSL internet access
Free movies in cinema
Should you have any further questions please click here to email us.
Royal Theatre Pty. Ltd. Trading as Theatre Royal Castlemaine 2004