The name “Nautilus” was chosen for the refurbished theatre in the Nautilus Arts Centre following a public competition to find the most suitable name. The beautiful shells of the paper nautilus, regarded as treasures by beachcombers are occasionally found on the shores near Port Lincoln and on islands further out. Nautilus was deemed to best encapsulate the themes of Port Lincoln’s environment, including the ocean. The Nautilus Theatre seats 500 with retractable raked seating which provides patrons with an excellent view of the stage.
The auditorium is also available as a flat floor space for balls, cabaret, fashion shows and conferences. A range of diverse and exciting theatre is presented each season in the Nautilus Theatre including productions from Country Arts SA’s Performing Arts Touring Programme.
The former Civic Hall now called the Nautilus Theatre & Arts Centre is the third town hall to be built on the present site. The first, the Institute Hall was built in 1879 and a stage was added in 1898. In 1924 it was rebuilt and renamed, becoming the Soldiers Memorial Hall. It survived until gutted by a fire in 1934. On May 26th, 1936 the newly completed building was opened by His Excellency the Governor, Sir Winston Dugan who also unveiled the Flinders Memorial Arch adjacent to the hall.
In 2001, the year of Australia’s Centenary of Federation, an exciting redevelopment was completed, now offering facilities for a wide variety of culture and entertainment in the performing and visual arts, with spaces to accommodate many other community needs.
This is a multi-purpose Cultural Centre with a sense of the aesthetic within new and modern spaces. There is a feeling of communal ownership and pride in this new facility.