Athenaeum Theatre

Listings for Athenaeum Theatre

188 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia, Melbourne


Considered an artistic and cultural hub located in the centre of the vibrant city of Melbourne, the Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne is the city’s oldest cultural institution and is steeped in a fascinating history. Consisting of a myriad of buildings, including a main theatre, a smaller studio theatre, a restaurant and a subscription library, the Athenaeum Theatre has hosted a range of performances rooted in theatre, comedy and music. The Athenaeum Theatre is known for hosting Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Opera. The venue is also the main venue for the Hillsong Church’s Sunday services.

 The Athenaeum Theatre was added to the National Trust’s Register of Historic Buildings in 1981 and was listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne has welcomed a variety of impressive performers including John Bishop, Russell Howard, the Paper Kites, Paul Kelly, Brooke Fraser as well as many other high-profile artists.

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Seating and Capacity

The Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne has a capacity of 1000 seats in the main theatre which is divided across three levels. There is also a smaller theatre hall which can seat a limited number of people and is used for small scale events. This venue is often hired for these smaller events.

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How to get there

The Athenaeum theatre Melbourne address is:

188 Collins Street, Melbourne Athenaeum, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 3000

  • Bus: if you are travelling by bus, you can take bus numbers 207, 220, 234, 250, 251, 350, 605 and 905 to the theatre
  • Train: the closest train station to the theatre is Flinders Station but then you will have to take a train to the theatre but you still have to walk
  • Tram: you can easily travel to the Athenaeum Theatre by tram as any Collins or Swanston Street tram stops which are next to the theatre
  • Car: there is not a car park at the Athenaeum theatre Melbourne, but there is parking available all over Melbourne which you can find using parkopedia.
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Useful Information


The theatre strives to be an accessible venue, please let the Athenaeum Theatre know beforehand if you have any access requirements or inform the theatre of any access requirements.

The Athenaeum Theatre is fully wheelchair accessible.

Food and Drink

There is bar service available throughout the theatre and there are light snacks which you can buy during the show. There are also several bars, cafes and restaurants close to theatre where you can grab a bite to eat beforehand or after the show.

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The site at 188 Collins Street finished in 1842 and in 1852 the Melbourne City Council first met when the Melbourne Town Hall was built. The building on the site of the Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne was originally called the Melbourne Mechanics’ Institute and was renamed in 1846 to the Melbourne Mechanics’ Institution and School of Arts.

In 1872, the Melbourne Athenaeum changed its name in 1872 and the library has now become an important aspect of the theatre. The building underwent renovation in 1885 and 1886. The building was also used as a theatre and a cinema from 1896 with the first film in Australia being shown at the Athenaeum Hall. During its early days, the Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne also included an art gallery which showcased several artists and paintings from the likes of Rupert Bunny, Hans Heysen, Albert Namatirja and Tom Roberts. Today, the theatre is mainly used for shows and performances.

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Photos of Athenaeum Theatre

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Featured videos

Anthenaeum theatre

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Elvis - A Musical Revolution

Athenaeum Theatre

188 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia, Melbourne1

1NOTE: approximate address. The only address that is completely valid is the one shown on the tickets