A new petition is out to show that Ballarat needs its Lower Hall. The architects of the current draft plans for the interior of the Civic Hall were told to leave out the Lower Hall, to allow for possible demolition to give more space for the proposed State Government offices. So they have had to suggest expensive adaptions to try to reproduce the functions of the Lower Hall within the remaining hall.
This creates unusable small ‘theatres’ on the stage and balcony that do not have the necessary backstage facilities, especially for large-scale performances. So the Civic Hall would have a much reduced capacity.
The Lower Hall seats around 400. It has its own stage and fly tower, snack bar and ticket. Its foyer and adjoining rooms could easily be used by the Library for meetings and training rooms.
It was always a popular space for local groups to hire – used for musicals, dances, speech nights etc. It would be pointless to demolish it.