Redesigned Riverside opens 2028 bringing finest Broadway shows


THE highly anticipated reconstruction of Riverside Theatres begins next year following a $188M Western Sydney Infrastructure Program joint funding by the Parramatta City Council and NSW government.

Opening in 2028, the premier performing arts centre in Sydney’s second CBD showcases the reimagined theatres with nearly 3,000 seats and entertainment facilities all set to accommodate a new generation of visitors.

It is designed by internationally acclaimed Cox Architecture, 3XN Architects, designer Aileen Sage, Turf Design Studio and Bangawarra who put their talents together for the winning final product.

NSW Minister for the Arts, John Graham said the redevelopment of Riverside Theatres hinged on its rich history in Western Sydney, adjacent to another significant landmark, the Powerhouse Museum.

“It will open across the river from the Powerhouse, two significant landmarks that will transform and reimagine Parramatta’s cultural precinct,” Mr Graham said. 

“The redevelopment will ensure people across Western Sydney have a new and reimagined performing arts centre that will allow the arts community and audiences to enjoy more performances on a far bigger stage.

“I’m also excited about the flow-on benefits for the nighttime and visitor economies, particularly with the opening of the Western Sydney Airport [in 2026].

Parramatta Lord Mayor Pierre Esber said the Riverside redevelopment is a monumental step in Parramatta’s journey into a global city with the iconic venue as a world-class performing arts centre, welcoming more than 400,000 visitors per year.

“Once completed, Riverside Theatres will be a world-class performing arts centre featuring state-of-the-art facilities and enhanced public spaces that will double its capacity and supercharge the City’s night-time and visitor economies,” Mayor Esber said. 

“The reimagined Riverside Theatres will attract talent to Parramatta as we become an epicentre for creativity with our deep roots in arts and culture alongside the new Powerhouse Parramatta. 

“Our community will soon have access to a state-of-the-art facility that will attract major Australian works and the best of Broadway, and the West End shows to Parramatta for the first time.”

The features include new 1,500-seat Lyric Theatre, 760-seat Riverside Playhouse Theatre, an all-new 420-seat black-box drama theatre and state-of-the-art 80-seat digital studio and cinema and enhanced public spaces.  

The Cox Architects design was chosen from a field of five entries by internationally acclaimed design teams.

Riverside Theatres director Craig McMaster said the new venue ushered beginnings from its “35 years history as an award-winning cultural anchor for our community” and “opens the door to bringing the best in international and Australian performances directly to audiences from Parramatta and across NSW.”

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