August finish for theatre renovations

Joy Beruter

VOLUNTEERS are hoping the Montreal Theatre renovations will be finished at the end of August.

Tumut’s Volunteer Citizen of the Year Joy Beruter is at her beloved theatre every day keeping a close eye on the progress.

“The roof has been done, the sound system has been done and the extra lighting; we are still waiting on the toilets, and we’re hoping to have them done by the end of August this year,” she said.

The completion deadline is September 30.

The Theatre received $380,000 courtesy of the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund for merged councils in 2017, and local fundraisers and volunteer donations have also gone into the renovations.

“We paid for the painting; it hasn’t come from the council money; they are our funds; we raised that through Tumut Takes 2 and volunteer donations,” Mrs Beruter said.

Mrs Bertuter said the going had been frustratingly slow because it is not all in the volunteers’ hands.

“Because council owns the building, and because it is heritage listed, (the Theatre was World Heritage listed in 2013) everything has to go through council and the heritage people,” she said. 

“It just takes time, but we’ll get there.”

The existing toilet block will have to be demolished.

“We will be closing the theatre after the first week of June, pending approval,” Mrs Beruter said.

She believes the theatre, built in the early 1930s, is a huge part of the town.

“It is appreciated by everyone; everyone has a stake in it,” she said.

“It is part of the fabric of Tumut. We have school concerts, live shows, book launches; we’ve even had a couple of weddings. The theatre even raised money for the war effort (in World War II).”