Adelaide risks losing iconic live music venue Thebarton Theatre after the state government has refused to guarantee the future of the heritage-listed building.
More than 32,000 people have signed a petition since Sunday night calling for the Marshall Government to ensure the venue's survival as the multi-billion dollar upgrade of South Road gets underway.
It's an age-old case of progress versus preservation as the project is expected to start in 2020 and be completed by 2028, with hundreds of properties along South Road to be compulsorily resumed and demolished.
Heritage and acting Transport Minister David Speirs raised the ire of local musicians and music lovers when he stated the government could not guarantee the Thebarton Theatre's future, though they were aware of its cultural and heritage value.
Speirs also commented that it was too early in the process to speculate on which properties would be acquired, with extensive planning and design stages yet to be completed.
A beloved fixture of Adelaide's bustling and thriving live music scene, Thebarton Theatre was opened 11 June, 1928 by Mayor HS Hatwell Esq and celebrated its 90th birthday last year where Premier Steven Marshall was a guest of honour.
Originally built as Thebarton Town Hall and Municipal Offices, the property was obtained in 1981 by Weslo Holdings Pty Ltd and redeveloped into Thebarton Theatre, with more than one million dollars invested into upgrading facilities.
Already a heritage-listed building, last year Thebarton Theatre was inducted into the SA Music Hall Of Fame. As well as hosting massive national and international acts such as INXS, Crowded House, Coldplay and even The Monkees, Thebarton Theatre has also become a proving ground for young, local bands cutting their teeth.
Pressure is building on Minister Speirs and the Marshall Government to clarify their position on the issue.