The NSW Government’s lockout laws have had an impact on how people in Sydney spend their evenings. That’s why we’ve given more than $360,000 in funding to live music venues, theatres and community centres, as well as bars, pubs and stores.

The Roosevelt in Kings Cross is taking the opportunity to bring back the long-forgotten soul of an area once known for big talent in small, smoky nightspots.

Ben Hickey and Naomi Palmer, co-owners of The Roosevelt explain

The original Roosevelt was one of the first new-wave nightclubs in its era, combining chorus dancers with international artists and a big band. The performances would have been incredible to see – floorshows, dancers and big bands, mixed with comedy acts and solos.

We’ve recently been in touch with some performers from the heyday who have been telling us some wonderful stories from their time at the original Roosevelt.

Owner Abe Saffron was a big fan of the Las Vegas scene and brought over acts including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr.

Ben and Naomi, co-owners of The Roosevelt
Ben Hickey and Naomi Palmer, co-owners of The Roosevelt, will pay homage to the prohibition era with their new live music offering. Photo: Sarah Rhodes.

 

We plan to modify the venue to allow for a small stage and electronic equipment.

We’ll start by bringing back live music of the 1940s and 50s with small 2 and 3-piece acts. But you never know what the future might hold. Maybe one day we could return the venue to its multi-level glory, complete with its stunning domed ceiling.

Other upgrades and late-night programming planned by our grant recipients

Oxford Art Factory will use the grant money to upgrade its sound quality
Live music sounds quality will be taken up a notch at Oxford Art Factory. Photo: Sarah Rhodes.

 

  • a monthly program of music trivia, slam poetry and live music in the foyer of the City Recital Hall in the city
  • live music and dining after midnight at Foundry 616 in Ultimo
  • ‘paint and sip’ and ‘beanbag and popcorn’ arthouse movie nights at The Tribe store in Darlinghurst
Look forward to better nights out at Freda’s bar in Chippendale. Photo: Sarah Rhodes.
Look forward to better nights out at Freda’s bar in Chippendale. Photo: Sarah Rhodes.
Golden Age Cinema & Bar will program local acts in their cinema space with its grant money
Golden Age Cinema & Bar will program local acts in their cinema space with its grant money

 

The next round of the grant program opens 18 June. Small business and venue operators can apply.

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