The boards were creaky - and so were a few limbs - particularly as they lowered themselves into the deep seats at the Old Court Theatre on Friday.
But it was well worth the effort as supporters, young and old, turned out in force to welcome the return of the ‘grand old lady’ of Scone circa 1882, the Old Court Theatre with a full ‘head’ of make- up no less.
After five years of sourcing funding, liaising with heritage staff, council and tradespeople the theatre was officially re-opened on Friday.
SCADS president Scott White said the refurbishments represented ‘a new chapter’ for drama in Scone.
“The Upper Hunter Shire Council have been so supportive taking on this long term restoration project.
“It has given the community something to be proud of,” he said.
Fellow SCADS member Anne Frame agreed.
“It takes a community to take care of its important assets and the Old Court House is one of those important assets.
“When the original building ceased operating as a court house, it fell into disrepair and was even used at one point to store pesticides for the Prickly Pear Authority.
“SCADS were able to claim the building a few years ago, but it has been a long labour of love to get the building to the state it is in today,” she said.
Mayor Michael Johnsen said he looked forward to many events being held at the theatre.
“It is now a multi-purpose function centre for lectures, plays, functions and debates," he said.
“To have such a great venue to host special events is very important.
“This building adds to the diverse cultural history we are trying to promote in the Upper Hunter, but we will need community and government support to continue to maintain it,” he said.
The Old Court House received new roof sheeting, gutters, eaves, render, internal and external painting and a disabled ramp through a $127,000 Heritage NSW grant, $137,000 funding from Upper Hunter Shire Council and a $10,000 donation from Hunter Mutual.