Save Selina’s: Advocates Call to Save Iconic Coogee Venue from Demolition

Photo Credit: Selina's, Coogee Bay Hotel/Facebook

Advocates of live music have opened a petition to save Selina’s from demolition after the owner of Coogee Bay Hotel, the home of the iconic venue, announced plans for a massive redevelopment. 

Chris Cheung, the owner, said that they do not have plans to rebuild Selina’s in the refurbishment. Instead, the venue will be knocked down and replaced with rows of shops, cafes, and a car park if the development application (DA/437/2021) is approved.  

However, some Sydney locals are asking Mr Cheung to allocate space for Selina’s in the hotel’s multi-million dollar plans. Nearly 250 people have signed the petition as of press time. 

“Some of the $112 million being put into this rebuild [could] be allocated to ensuring there is still a space for live music and culture to continue thriving in the East. Let’s keep the show going on.” 

Meanwhile, Shadow Minister For Music And Nighttime Economy John Graham is also in favour of saving Selina’s, which has been around since the 1980s. 

“Selina’s is the first test of getting this right or risking losing a Sydney music institution,” Mr Graham said. 

“A stage which has hosted so much of Sydney and Australia’s music history – hosting Midnight Oil, Crowded House, the Angels and the Hoodoo Gurus as well as landmark international tours by the likes of Elton John and David Bowie – deserves to be preserved not just as a relic but as a living entertainment venue.”

He said that Coogee Bay Hotel must be granted a Special Entertainment Precincts (SEP) status to preserve the iconic stage. Recently, the NSW Government signed the Liquor Amendment Act 2020, covering incentives for live music venues amidst the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. 

In May 2021, Enmore Theatre and the strip of Enmore Road in the Inner West became the first Sydney venue to receive SEP status. 

Meanwhile, a separate petition was also created to object to the redevelopment plans of the Coogee Bay Hotel. Over 6,500 supported calls for Randwick City Council to turn down the application because this will “change the low-scale, low-key look and feel of the Coogee village centre forever.”