Queensland Ballet Returns to the New Thomas Dixon Centre

Queensland Ballet has returned home to the heritage-listed Thomas Dixon Centre in West End. The building has just completed a multi-million-dollar renovation which commenced in August 2019.

Queensland Ballet returned to its home for the past three decades in July 2022, celebrating the opening of the brand-new Talbot Theatre with its season opener, “Bespoke.”

Talbot Theatre
Talbot Theatre | Photo Credit: Thomas Dixon Centre / thomasdixoncentre.com.au

The new theatre is part of the $100-million redevelopment of the Thomas Dixon Centre.

Aside from the new, 350-seat Talbot Theatre, the 110-year-old building now boasts six dance studios, a costume workroom, a wellness centre, a gym, and stunning public art.

 Kite Terrace
Kite Terrace |  Photo Credit: Thomas_Dixon_Centre / thomasdixoncentre.com.au

It also features Kite Terrace, a rooftop bar that offers amazing city views and a central promenade.

“The redevelopment of this historic building is a truly transformational moment for the arts in Brisbane. More than an incredible home for Queensland Ballet, the new Thomas Dixon Centre – as a centre for culture and community – will impact the Brisbane artistic landscape for years to come.” –  Queensland Ballet’s fifth Artistic Director, Li Cunxin AO

About Thomas Dixon

Thomas Coar Dixon
Thomas Coar Dixon| Photo Credit: Thomas_Dixon_Centre / thomasdixoncentre.com.au

Thomas Coar Dixon was a leather tanner who arrived in Australia in 1866 from Yorkshire, England. He then moved to Queensland in 1869 from New South Wales and established a small tannery in Hill End (now known as West End) in 1873. He also went on to purchase the land on which his tannery sits.

Thomas Dixon Centre with plaque that reads “Established 1873” | Photo Credit: Thomas Dixon Centre
Thomas Dixon Centre with plaque that reads “Established 1873” | Photo Credit: Thomas_Dixon_Centre / thomasdixoncentre.com.au

In 1906, Dixon purchased the land bounded by Montague Road, Raven Street and Drake Street to establish a new factory. He commissioned architect Richard Gailey to design the two-storey red brick building.

The factory is now known as the Thomas Dixon Centre. It opened on 11 April 1908. Dixon died a year later.

Upon Dixon’s death, his sons took over and continued the business which was later registered as Thomas C. Dixon & Sons Limited. In 1973, the business moved to Wacol where it faced tough competition from cheaper vinyl imports and then closed down after seven years. 

Photo Credit: Thomas_Dixon_Centre / thomasdixoncentre.com.au

The Queensland Government acquired the centre in 1975 and converted it into a storage facility. The building then underwent refurbishing in 1991 to serve as the home of Queensland Ballet, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra and the Queensland Dance School of Excellence.

The Thomas Dixon Centre entered the Heritage Register in 1998.