In 2000, her past glory now somewhat faded, The Maj was purchased by well-known television personality, theatrical producer and entrepreneur, Mike Walsh AM OBE. Combining a passion for the performing arts and a great affection for the old theatre, Mike immediately commissioned extensive and exhaustive renovations.
Over $6 million was initially spent on a complete rebuilding of the stage house, including the stage and a new state-of-the-art fly tower, which now boasts technical facilities enabling us to house the most demanding of modern productions. Foyers were upgraded and function rooms renovated to truly ‘show off ’ the theatre.
A little known fact is that it was only during this renovation that the theatre management made the Grand Circle accessible through the main entrance. Prior to this, patrons sitting in the Grand Circle entered via a separate entrance in Little Bourke Street!
Restored, resplendent and greatly improved, The Maj opened her doors again on 5 May 2002, testing the waters by hosting the industry’s illustrious Green Room Awards before officially reopening on 8 May 2002, with the prestigious play The Hollow Crown.
Performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company, it featured Sir Derek Jacobi, Dame Diana Rigg, Sir Donald Sinden and Ian Richardson. The show was a success, and showed off the revitalised theatre to the general public.
The theatre continues to make improvements and renovations to this day to ensure that we remain one of the best venues for live production in Australia. Thanks for joining us on the journey!