What is Significant? Constructed in 1865, the former Star Theatre, Chiltern, is a rare example of a goldfields theatre purposely built in association with hotel facilities. Gold was discovered around Chiltern in 1858 by John Conness and the provincial town developed on its present site, around the deep lead mining activities. The theatre forms part of the former Star Hotel complex, including the surviving hotel, billiard saloon and stables, located at the corner of Conness and Main Streets, the former junction of the Indigo and New Ballarat leads. The complex was constructed by Hiram A. Crawford of Crawford & Connelly coaching firm and replaced the original weatherboard hotel built by JA Wallace in 1859 after it was destroyed by fire. Substantial changes to the original exterior of the former Star Hotel, later known as the Grape Vine Hotel, have compromised its integrity.
The former Star Theatre is a red brick rectangular hall situated at the rear of the former Star Hotel. The theatre maintained several uses, hosting burlesque and theatrical travelling performances, card matches, political debates, balls, concerts, wedding receptions and roller skating. The proscenium arch no longer remains.
From 1902 a picture theatre was installed, with a temporary bio box erected on the outside wall of the stage, positioned at the northern end of the theatre, and projected images on to the rear wall of the auditorium. Former projection portholes are evident in the rear of the stage wall. Other internal features include exposed timber roof trusses and a ripple iron ceiling.
How is it Significant? The former Star Theatre is of architectural and historical significance to the Sate of Victoria.
Why is it Significant? The former Star Theatre is architecturally and historically important as a rare surviving and intact example of theatre facilities in Victoria built in association with prosperous hotels during the gold rush boom.
General Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object.General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component.
General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and planall works shall be in accordance with it. Note:A Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan provides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan.
General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable.Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works must submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.
The purpose of the permit exemptions is to allow works that do not impact on the heritage significance of the place to occur without the need for a permit. Works other than those mentioned in the permit exemptions may be possible but will require either the written approval of the Executive Director or permit approval.
The purpose of the Permit Policy is as a guide in assisting when considering or making decisions regarding works to the place. It is recommended that any proposed works be discussed with an officer of Heritage Victoria prior to them being undertaken or a permit is applied for. Discussing any proposed works will assist in answering any questions the owner may have and aid any decisions regarding works to the place.
The cultural heritage significance of the former Star theatre is the early history of the establishment and association with the hotel. It is important to retain the rectangular plan form of the theatre. Key internal features include the former projection portholes evident in the rear of the stage wall, exposed timber roof trusses and ripple iron ceiling.
Internal and external changes to existing building on the registered land will be subject to permit application.