The Northcote Amphitheatre in Fairfield Park began life in 1983 as a temporary scaffolding arena seating 500. It was the brainchild of Epidavros Summer Festival, a community theatre company specialising in drama in the outdoors. A co-operative building venture between the Northcote Council and community groups, began in July 1985.
The venue is also known as the Northcote Open-air Theatre, and is designed on classical lines, comprising 11 tiers of terraced seating in a semi-circular arrangement around a circular stage, 10 metres in diameter. The auditorium is built from sawn bluestone slabs over a concrete skin. It seats 460 and commands a splendid view of the Yarra River and surrounding bushland.
The bluestone was originally mined from the Northcote quarry and used to line gutters and kerbs in Northcote. When concrete replaced the stone gutters and kerbs, the bluestone was recycled for use in the seating area. It is set in a public park with boating facilities and tearooms close by.
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