Dancing to a new tune

NORTHBRIDGE’S defunct Cinema Paradiso is set to become a live music venue, with a nightclub licence lodged for the triple-level “Club Paradiso”. 

It’s being set up Mario Madaffari, who took over the Paramount Nightclub across the road in 2018.

Cinema Paradiso was formerly a Luna Palace Cinemas operation until the large chain Palace Cinemas took it over in 2018.

Cinema Paradiso closed permanently in June last year, shortly after the Covid lockdown. Palace was silent over why, only saying it was time to close and bring its offerings “under one roof”, directing arthouse movie fans to its nearby Raine Square cinema.

Part of the Club Paradiso’s application for a liquor licence says a new music venue’s needed after some recent closures such as The Bakery and Ya Ya’s ceasing live music. 

Club Paradiso is planned to have multiple stages: Up and comers would perform in a casual front bar, there’s a theatre chamber for musos with bigger followings, and a main concert chamber for the biggest acts.

If the licence is granted and Club Paradiso goes ahead, the building will likely never be used as a movie theatre again: Part of the required works involve “infill of some spaces to remove the cascading floors that are used in cinemas”. 

The Piccadilly Theatre is also, slowly, being turned into a bar and music venue by Mellen Events. 

The plan harks back to 2016, but was delayed in 2017 when Perth council decided not to go ahead with a grant, a decision that was criticised as lacking transparency by the Inquiry into the City of Perth as it seemed to have come about because two competing business owners lobbied the council not to support it. 

The $665,575 heritage “adaptive reuse” rates concession was eventually approved later in 2017 and work started in 2018 but it’s yet to open.

By DAVID BELL

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