“Countdown studios” exit by mid 2017, party & sale.

ABC Director of TV is promising a great send-off to a grand lady next year.


ABC’s Elsternwick Studios, better known as the Countdown studios, look set to be vacated by mid 2017.

The Gordon Street building has been in operation since 1958 as home to many productions including Countdown, Bellbird, SeaChange, Adventure Island, The Late Show, Frontline, The Big Gig, The Gillies Report, Kath and Kim, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell and Spicks and Specks. It sits adjacent to the Heritage listed Ripponlea Estate.

Next year ABC will finish completion on its expanded Southbank site in Sturt Street (pictured below) which includes 2 television studios, bringing Radio and Television under the one roof in Melbourne. Staff are already working in the newly-built extension while work continues.

Admin and production staff will move from Selwyn Street, Elsternwick, by April with the Gordon Street Studios to be decommissioned by mid year.

“We will celebrate its space. It needs to be given an appropriate farewell and have a good party,” ABC Director of TV Richard Finlayson told TV Tonight.

“But it will ultimately be sold with the money going to Australian content.”

However local Glen Eira council has previously noted the site also represents an important opportunity to potentially achieve additional open space, if it is kept out of the hands of developers.

“There will be a lot of interest in it, it’s a great site,” Finlayson acknowledged.


10 Responses

  1. This is the first I have heard them mentioned as the Countdown studios. Having spent almost 30 years of my life working in those studis they are much more than that. In fact returning from drama shoots on Saturdays Countdown was a nuisance with dozens of teenagers blocking the entrance and all sorts of unsavoury offences occurring in the dressing rooms.
    No really the should be remembered for some of the best pioneer TV productions in Australian TV history e,g Power Without Glory , Rush, Adventure Island, TDT, countless comedy shows and so many more. Countdown was just one of them !

  2. Sad to see the old girl go. If the walls could talk…they’d have their own late night talk show LOL. Was a privilege to be able to work there. Long proud tradition of making great shows out of there about to end. I’ll miss the place

  3. Sad this is the last of the four great studios in Melbourne to go (Although tens Nunawading is still being used). I remember going there for extra work on abc shows like Seachange. I don’t think I had any idea it is where Adventure Island was filmed. My very first ever favorite tv show.

  4. When the finish workers have finished completing the finishing process the Studios will be finished completely. Until then they are unfinished completely.
    The finish workers are all on 457 visas and will return to their frozen homeland when the job reaches finish completion or is completed, whichever comes first.

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