A striking $4.35 million plan to convert the old Australia Cinema 4 building on Lords Place into motel/hotel accommodation with shops and a function area has been revealed.
A development application for the complex, which would have 31 rooms for guests, has been lodged with Orange City Council.
It is proposed to demolish part of the building with a new building constructed at the rear of the L-shaped block for two floors of accommodation.
The DA states the existing laneway and pathway beside the building would be opened up with a wall garden.
"[It] will be activated as part of the development to engage with Lords Place and create a pedestrian-friendly environment," it said.
A feature of the building would be a three-storey void above the lobby.
The plan has been submitted by the REF Group, based in Wetherill Park, for the 1222 square metre block.
The DA said the front of the building would be 'three-storey scale' rising to four storeys at the rear.
It said the building, originally constructed as the Australia Hall, in 1866 was in a heritage area, but not heritage listed, with major changes over its 153-year history.
"The building has undergone considerable changes since it was first built, to the extent it retains very little of the original architecture. Much of the original fabric has been altered due to the building's evolution as a theatre or cinema," it said.
The DA said the site had approval for 74 car parking sites with its former role as a cinema.
However, it is proposing to have 50 car spaces on site for guests, staff, a restaurant, the function area and the shops.
"Hotel guests will be encouraged to use the nearby council Ophir car park," it said.
It would buy car parking vouchers from the council to give to guests on arrival.
It is also seeking to have two car parking spaces at the front of the building reserved for hotel guests to use when checking-in.
Orange and District Historical Society historian Liz Edwards said the original structure was built by James Dalton Junior in 1886 to provide a venue for Irish supporters visiting Orange.
It followed an incident three years earlier when Irish politician John Redmond was barred from speaking at the School of Arts and the Oddfellows Hall.
The church bought the cinema in 2011 and received DA approval in 2014.
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