Cell Block Theatre – National Art School

Forbes Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia
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The Cell Block Theatre at the National Art School is housed on the Old Darlinghurst Gaol site, Sydney’s first permanent gaol. In 1957 Katharine Hepburn and Robert Helpman started a fund to turn the derelict prison block into a dramatic theatrical venue. After a long period of fundraising and restoration, the internal walls and floors were removed to reveal towering ten-metre high sandstone walls leaving behind an open atmospheric cathedral-like space.

The impression of the old cells still lingers with traces of the curved stone staircases climbing three storeys high, the narrow barred windows, the rough sandstone edges that mark the cells and the solid iron doorway. The stone walls and wooden floors keep the simplicity of the space focused on the history that has been and this makes for a very unique venue for many different types of events.

The surrounding courtyards offset the history of the Cell Block Theatre and make a great outdoor entertaining space to supplement the indoor area.

Venue Features

Disability access
Bar tab available
External Catering
External Music
AV Equipment

Event details

Food Budget

Bar Tab

Capacity Chart

Area Banquet Cocktail U-Shape Theatre Boardroom Classroom Cabaret
Cell Block Courtyard 160 300 - 180 - - 90
Cell Block 190 300 - 250 - - 100
Gallery Courtyard 160 300 - - - - -

Cell Block Courtyard

Dedicated function space Capacity See Chart

Cell Block

Dedicated function space Capacity See Chart

Gallery Courtyard

Dedicated function space Capacity See Chart

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have underage guests attend my function?


Can I arrange a bar tab?


Can I decorate the area I hire for my function?


Are there any additional costs?

Security and cleaning is required.

How do I secure my booking?

Sign terms & conditions, plus $1000 deposit.

How late into the night can my event run until?

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