The Lyceum Church in a Theatre came into being when the Mission obtained the Lyceum Theatre under the inspiration of two great men in the Mission's history, Rev. W.G. Taylor and the Hon. Ebenezer Vickery, M.L.C.
From that time on, the theatre became the centre of a great evening gospel service in Australia. For 90 years the theatre has proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ every Sunday night through wars, depressions and times of affluence.
Here you will see people from all walks of life, sitting side by side and hearing the proclamation of the gospel.
Its congregations have been varied, hundreds of people from the widest variety of social, economic, educational, ethnic and vocational backgrounds, joined together in one purpose to worship God and to proclaim the gospel of grace.
Over the years the 'Church-in-a-Theatre' has been the centre of prophetic preaching, of frequent controversy and of faithful proclamation. There have been times when the church has felt somewhat ashamed that its major place of worship should be a theatre, and at times the liturgical structure of the service was designed to make it more into a cathedral than a theatre.
However, with one of the finest theatre organs in the country, a magnificent screen and all the facilities for first-class cinema operation, the Lyceum Church-in-a-Theatre operated according to its name, it was a church worshipping in a theatre, and therefore used lighting, sound and the screen every week to effect.
The success of this theatre as a centre of worship and evangelism was seen in the multiplying of crowded services throughout Sunday. When the decision was made to demolish the downtown properties, it was a unanimous decision of the membership to build a new theatre, a centre for the performing arts and a convention centre with state-of-the-art facilities which would house the church's major worship services. Wesley Theatre congregations are probably the most egalitarian church worship service in the world.
Here you will find literally professors and physicians, prostitutes and alcoholics, teachers and computer programmers, skid- row drunks and homeless teenagers, sitting side by side and hearing the proclamation of the gospel. Some stalwart Christians, who could have been much more comfortable in their own environment in their local suburban church, have committed themselves to this service week by week to uphold the preaching of the gospel and to enable the message to reach those in the community who desperately need the power of God to renew them.
It is a fact causing rejoicing that on almost every Sunday for the past century, lives have been changed, challenged and converted through the power of the gospel.