7-storeys for Lyric 

Klopper and Davis’ picnic hamperish design for apartments over the old Lyric Theatre.

APARTMENTS are planned to be built on top of Maylands’ former Lyric Theatre on Eight Avenue.

Australian Development Capital, who are also doing the Perth Girls School precinct project, are planning 52 apartments. Two levels will be “heritage-character style apartments, followed by four levels of more contemporary apartments designed to respect and celebrate the rich history, character and heritage of Maylands”.

The decision to approve it will be made by the state Development Assessment Panel, and it’ll be an early test for Bayswater council’s new heritage inventory adopted in March this year.

At the urging of cinema historian Greg Lynch who provided information on the 1923-built cinema’s historical significance, the council gave it a category 2 heritage rating.

The inventory states it is “very important to the heritage of the locality” and has a “high degree of integrity/authenticity.

“Conservation of the place is highly desirable. Any alterations or extensions should reinforce the significance of the place.”

The plan maintains the front part of the building and redevelops the rest of the interior, and Mr Lynch is not a fan of the proposed changes.

“There is some talk of salvaging the walls, but what about the Romanesque pillars that enhance the proscenium?” he says.

“The Lyric was the heart of the community. More people have passed through the Lyric than any other building in Maylands. This was a time when most of the population went to the movies, at least once, sometimes twice a week.

“The Lyric is a sacred place and I would like to see it stay a theatre,” he says, or as a second option be purchased by the council for community use. In the Lyric Residences websites’ Frequently Asked Questions section, the developers state the former cinema’s “unique character and history is something we plan to incorporate and celebrate in the redevelopment… it has been many years since the building was used as a theatre, and after decades of various renovations and repositioning there are few significant internal heritage elements remaining. There is also no opportunity to use the building as a cinema or theatre again.”

ADC says it will set a benchmark for development in Maylands and the community will benefit from a 262sqm public park and piazza and more activation of Lyric Lane.

There’s an open-invitation community information session at Rossonero in Lyric Lane, Monday November 23 at 5pm.

By DAVID BELL

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