who we are
Empire Revival is an exciting new retail experience.
Housed in one of Brisbane’s most iconic buildings, we are a unique collective trading enterprise offering a distinctive range of jewellery, fashion, furniture, and homewares. Whether you are looking for the perfect ring, table, chair, dress, tea set, light or small collectable, you will find it at ER. Every day our expert staff help discerning people to ‘find their style.’
As you step through our doors you enter a world of retail theatre that you will never find online. While you look for that special item, you will be entertained, educated and overwhelmed. We love what we do. And it’s not worth doing unless it’s done with style.
Discover why interior designers, film producers and set designers go to ER for their ideas. And discover why ER’s remarkable home is one of Brisbane’s leading tourist attractions.
Find your style at Empire Revival, open seven days a week.
Empire Revival is inside the heritage-listed Plaza Theatre, an art deco building constructed in 1929. It is now one of only two atmospheric theatre buildings remaining in Australia. Customers who delight in the unique collection of modern retail brands at ER are also treated to a insight into the past courtesy of the extraordinary building that we are proud to call home.
When it was built in 1929, the theatre was elaborately decorated to create the feeling of being outdoors. The vaulted bright blue plaster ceiling was unique to the Australian atmospheric style and featured suspended wooden cut-out clouds which were originally back-lit to simulate the moon behind the clouds.
The designers borrowed heavily from Spanish and Middle Eastern architecture. The large Spanish style proscenium arch, heavily decorated with plaster scroll-work in mission designs and colours still has the original textile valance embossed with the theatre’s name. Flanking the wide proscenium are ornamental balconies topped by large, arched columns under which used to stand classical style statues. Below the balconies are niches with twisted Roman columns all interspersed with scroll-work and other ornamentation.
The Plaza Theatre was part of the fabric of Brisbane life in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. It was open seven days a week, with serials shown on Monday and Tuesday nights, and feature films and newsreels on other nights. A matinee was also shown on Sunday afternoons. The theatre had the capacity to seat 1500 people, who were seated in double canvas chairs on one large sloping level. Close your eyes and you can imagine the tram waiting across the road at Trammie’s Corner until the movies had finished. Movie-goers would catch the tram after a milkshake at the popular milkbar on Latrobe Terrace.
Television arrived in the 1950s and hit the theatre business hard. The Plaza Theatre was closed in 1962.
A level floor was installed, making it suitable for use as a basketball court and matches were played here until the building was sold in 1977.
The building began its retail life in 1985 when the Paddington Antique Centre was established here by partners Graham and Anne Hesse and Heather and John Mildwaters.
The Centre was bought by Suzy Baines in 2008.
Suzy has now brought Empire Revival to this iconic building, starting a new chapter in its rich history.