History of theTown Hall Stage
FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO A ONE OF A KIND VENUE
The Town Hall Theatre is located in the Campbelltown CBD a short walk from the Arts Centre precinct and public transport. Regular theatrical productions can be seen at the Town Hall Theatre.
The land was originally the site of the Temperance Hall built by James Bocking in 1862 and before this it was owned by George Worrall, the murderer of Frederick Fisher. The original hall had a raised stage with dressing rooms either side and kitchen underneath with lighting provided by kerosene lamps. The local newspaper reported that it was "available to theatrical companies and with piano, for balls, entertainment, etc".
The original Town Hall was built by “The Sons of Temperance” in 1862 and was bought by the Council in 1884 for the sum of £800 and was to be used as a town hall. A fire station was built next door in 1891. Almost immediately it was taken over by Council for the Clerk's Office and the following year a matching facade was added to the town hall. This facade of the fire station and the town hall is decorated in solid late Victorian style, and this is the main character of these buildings.
A free library and reading room functioned from 1886 to 1905 in the area beneath the existing stage. Council meetings took place in one of the upstairs rooms for 60 years up until 1953, when the move was made to the corner of Queen and Lithgow Streets. The current Town Hall Theatre occupies both of these heritage buildings. The building on the north side was the Town Hall, while the adjoining building was the original Fire Station.
In the early 1900s the Town Hall was hired out in the evenings for the screening of silent movies. In 1979-1980 the building was renovated and a theatre emerged. This was funded by Campbelltown City Council, funds from the State Government, and from Campbelltown Theatre Group Inc itself. Since 1980 it has been the home of the Campbelltown Theatre Group, which was officially established 1956. The first production for CTGi was Pirates of Penzance in 1957. Ever since then, the company produces four shows a year, a mix of musicals and plays and are still one of Macarthur's largest community theatre companise today.
The Theatre is said to be haunted by the ghost of Fred Fisher, whose demise in 1826 has been made famous through the Legend of Fisher’s Ghost. George Worrall, who was executed for the murder of Fred Fisher, rented the land on which these buildings stand. Frederick Fisher was living in Mr Worrell’s house at the time of his murder. You can tour the theatre in the regular Campbelltown Investigative Ghost Tours.Some members of the Campbelltown Theatre Group claim that the building is haunted by the ghost of Fred Fisher, with some members hearing unaccounted foot steps or music. Often when something spooky happens like a slamming door, the members will greet Fred. As a running joke, some members will say goodnight to Fred before locking the theatre up for the night.
Evidently, the Campbelltown Town Hall Theatre has gone through a long history of changes, adjustments and renovations, but has always remained a place for quality entertainment and is guaranteed great night of theatre.
The Town Hall Management Committee
The Town Hall Theatre is available to all members of the community for hire, including other theatre and performing groups. Requests for bookings can be made through the Town Hall Theatre Management Committee, which is a separate body from CTG Inc managing the theatre on behalf of Campbelltown City Council.
The Theatre is very popular and therefore bookings are taken up quickly. It is best to get in as early as possible with your preferred dates as the calendar is set 12 months in advance. For availability, conditions and costs, please contact the Town Hall Management Committee's Booking officer via this web site