GTV9 has announced it will vacate its historic Richmond Studios by early 2011 and relocate to new premises at Bourke Street in Melbourne’s Docklands region.
Nine has been at the Bendigo Street “Piano Factory” site for 53 years, but will move to a brand new, purpose-built, high-tech facility at 717 Bourke Street.
Property developer Lend Lease will take over the Richmond site.
“We have been part of a great history at Richmond but it is time to move on. This move will create an exciting new chapter in GTV9’s history by delivering new-age technology in a modern, purpose-built television facility,” Managing Director Jeffrey Browne said.
“We are determined to ensure that GTV9’s new Bourke Street home continues to stir and inspire the creative juices of many talented and wonderfully gifted people who contribute so much to the legendary GTV DNA.”
The exit from “Television City,” as it has become known, is the end of an era for Nine, and indeed Australian television.
The Bendigo Street site has been home to legendary Australian television shows including In Melbourne Tonight, New Faces, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, The Footy Show, The Paul Hogan Show, Sale of the Century, Family Feud, Temptation, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Don Lane Show, Division 4, The Sullivans and The Flying Doctors.
The exterior of the building is Heritage protected, reflecting its century-long history as the Wertheim Piano Factory in 1908, a Heinz factory and finally the home of Nine from 1956.
The renowned Studio 9 was added in 1964 and later became home to In Melbourne Tonight. Daryl Somers recently called on the site to include a Museum for television, upon Nine’s exit.
Mr Browne said no locally produced programs would be lost due to the relocation.
“We’ve got a number of external studio options available to us and Nine will be crewing those studios,” he said.
“Production will not decrease – in fact it’s likely that production levels will increase. No shows will be lost.”
The new Docklands home will house smaller productions including Nine News, A Current Affair, The Sunday Footy Show and Footy Classified but larger scale productions such as The Footy Show, Millionaire Hot Seat and Hey Hey It’s Saturday will be made at independent studios.
Melbourne’s Central Studios is near the new address, as is Channel Seven at Etihad Stadium.