Com­edy venue comes to Perth CBD

The West Australian - - PROPERTY - He­len Shield

A chance meet­ing with an old friend and an in­tro­duc­tion to an en­thu­si­as­tic land­lord are about to re­sult in the open­ing of Aus­tralia’s only CBD com­edy venue, the Com­edy Lounge.

It hasn’t all been well-timed laughs, how­ever, for Com­edy Lounge di­rec­tor and for­mer co­me­dian John McAl­lis­ter, who had to aban­don an op­ti­mistic March open­ing tar­get, which be­came June. Then Septem­ber.

And now, in the ab­sence of dis­as­ter, will be Thurs­day, November 23.

He has de­clared the sound sys­tem, high-tech lights, air-con­di­tion­ing and cus­tom-built stage are open­ing-night ready.

The new $100,000 lift de­layed open­ing for months. Ac­tu­ally, it wasn’t the lift, it was the need to straighten a crooked shaft.

That done, the lift was op­er­a­tional last week­end, clear­ing the way for the in­stal­la­tion of tills, point of sale de­vices and se­cu­rity sys­tems at the start of the week.

The 370sqm venue, up­stairs from Sim­ply Ital­ian at 413 Mur­ray Street, has been cus­tom built to cre­ate a pa­tron-per­former in­ti­macy, with un­re­stricted views and good acous­tics. All with the sup­port of his land­lord.

McAl­lis­ter has signed a 10year lease with six five-year op­tions to ex­tend. “It’s not a cheap deal but it’s fair,” he said.

McAl­lis­ter says he has been aided and abet­ted by his friend, pub­li­can Paul Hig­gins.

He met Mr Hig­gins when McAl­lis­ter took over a gig at the Hyde Park Ho­tel, then owned by Mr Hig­gins.

Years later — af­ter al­most a decade spent try­ing to find an ideal com­edy venue — Mr Hig­gins in­tro­duced him to a bro­ker who matched him up with his cur­rent land­lord.

The part­ner­ship is ex­tra­or­di­nary be­cause the owner has built on top of his build­ing above Sim­ply Ital­ian at 413 Mur­ray Street, giv­ing McAl­lis­ter al­most full con­trol of the de­sign and $1 mil­lion-plus fit-out.

The Com­edy Lounge will open Thurs­day, Fri­day and Satur­day nights with two shows a night. McAl­lis­ter says he is op­er­at­ing on the the­ory that three nights full is bet­ter than six nights half­full, though he says he needs turnover of $1 mil­lion a year just to break even.

Pic­ture: Michael Wil­son

John McAl­lis­ter’s the Com­edy Lounge opens at 413 Mur­ray Street on Thurs­day week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.