The Barkly Theatre, constructed in 1914 for the Barkly Picture Theatre Company Limited, is among the earliest purpose-built cinemas in Australia. It is the oldest surviving cinema exterior in Australia. It was designed by the notable architect WAM Blackett of the architectural firm Blackett and Forster. The building, with Edwardian baroque detailing, and the facade with its mansard towers is reminiscent of the Second Empire theatre and hotel designs of the late nineteenth century. The Barkly Theatre, designed to seat approximately 1200 people, was at the time of construction, one of only a few substantial buildings of this type constructed in the suburbs of Melbourne. The building is substantially intact as constructed in 1914, both externally and internally, with the following exceptions. The four shops on the street frontage are part of the original design, although the central entry was modified in the 1960s. The ground floor (now level) of the main auditorium is not original. The fly tower was damaged by storm on 29 December 1990 and has been partially demolished.
General Exemptions:General exemptions apply to all places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR). General exemptions have been designed to allow everyday activities, maintenance and changes to your property, which don’t harm its cultural heritage significance, to proceed without the need to obtain approvals under the Heritage Act 2017.Places of worship: In some circumstances, you can alter a place of worship to accommodate religious practices without a permit, but you must notify the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria before you start the works or activities at least 20 business days before the works or activities are to commence.Subdivision/consolidation: Permit exemptions exist for some subdivisions and consolidations. If the subdivision or consolidation is in accordance with a planning permit granted under Part 4 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the application for the planning permit was referred to the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria as a determining referral authority, a permit is not required.Specific exemptions may also apply to your registered place or object. If applicable, these are listed below. Specific exemptions are tailored to the conservation and management needs of an individual registered place or object and set out works and activities that are exempt from the requirements of a permit. Specific exemptions prevail if they conflict with general exemptions. Find out more about heritage permit exemptions here.