The complex comprises a 466 seat theatre with stalls and tiered seating, foyer, kitchen, two large rooms suited to a variety of uses including meetings, presentations and workshops, a small meeting room and two outdoor performance areas. Since opening on November 22, 2008 the centre has not only built a regular audience for concerts and plays, it has also shown itself as a significant player in audience development and community engagement.
Cessnock Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) is the result of the adaptive re-use of two existing buildings on the corner of Aberdare Road and Vincent Street Cessnock. The entire complex totals some 2,000sq.m. and has been designed using contemporary materials and finishes that subtly contrast with the older buildings.
The older section of the complex which houses our meeting rooms and dressing room area holds local and social significance. Originally built by Morris Light, these buildings were constructed as open plan modern furniture display showrooms. Morris Light was at one time the Lord Mayor of Newcastle and was instrumental in raising funds for the Newcastle City Town Hall and Civic Theatre. His Cessnock building was a similar design to his earlier Newcastle showroom in Hunter Street, and was believed to be the first steel framed building in the area. It later became the Grace Brothers store in Cessnock. It is quite significant that Morris Light’s Cessnock showroom is now an integral part of the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre.
To play an integral role in the cultural life of the Cessnock Local Government Area.
To inspire and strengthen our community through shared experiences that are creative, innovative and on occasion challenging.
Our principal programming objective is to achieve a balance of performing arts experiences made up of a curated program that is supplemented through hiring that reflects:
Additionally the facility has become home to several organisations including the Cessnock Senior Citizens group, ADFAS (the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society, the Undeniably Noisy Project and a number of Cessnock City Council’s civic events. The centre also attracts a number of organisations, groups and individuals who hire various rooms that are available for individual and collective use.