From humble beginnings
It all began in 1964
when Tikki and John Newman decided to open a late night coffee house
on Exhibition Street in Melbourne, to catch the crowds as they left the theatres. From humble beginnings, this tiny venue has evolved into an international entertainment company, still owned and operated by the Newman Family - now in its third generation.
Employing around 200 staff, Newman Entertainment International have facilities in Queensland and Victoria, Australia, for custom attraction construction.
With a diverse team of prop makers, builders and creative staff at the ready, NEI have the unique ability to complete an attraction from concept to installation.
Hustle and bustle of the gangster era
This time it was the hustle and bustle of the gangster era that featured in this speakeasy comedy joint, based on the notorious gangster, Squizzy Taylor. The auditorium was alive with the rattle of machine guns and honky tonk piano. Spoons chained to coffee cups and bottle openers in the shape of pistols were just some of the innovative concepts that changed the industry.
From Music Hall to Vaudeville
From Music Hall to Vaudeville, the stage was set for lively entertainment that featured Vaudeville skits and variety acts. This was the last production in the original Tikki and John’s theatre. Sadly this historic building was demolished in the early 1980’s to make way for a carpark.
It was a wild experiment but it paid off. Who would have thought that a horror themed comedy venue would be such a scream? Dracula’s first opened in Drewery Lane, hidden in an old warehouse in Melbourne’s CBD. Outgrowing the original venue, Dracula’s was moved to its current Victoria St location in 1990 and for comedy theatre in Melbourne it's legendary.
Combining the highest standard of service and entertainment, Tikki and John Newman teamed up with a talented cast of veteran Australian performers. Newman’s Cabaret took the Theatre Restaurant industry to another level of quality. A five star night of music and comedy performed by the original artists.
CrazyHouse featured the new wave comedy of characters, such as Rocket Snotter and the team of truly insane waiters. The CrazyHouse enjoyed a successful run of over a decade. Contemporary sketch comedy and skits gained a huge Melbourne following. Many now established performers began their show business journey on stage at CrazyHouse.
Set in the emergency room of a zany hospital, this theatre featured wall to wall medical apparatus, severed limbs and hysterical character waiters. Customers were admitted to a mad night of off- beat, contemporary comedy showcasing some of the Gold Coast’s most talented performers.
Dracula’s Gold Coast
Off the main drag in a converted shopping centre, Dracula’s doors creaked open with all odds stacked against it. Eventually the cramped venue was refurbished and became another Newman creation, The Comedy Clinic. The current location between the casino and Pacific Fair, is a Gold Coast Landmark. For a dinner and show on the Gold Coast it’s hard to beat.
Australia’s first a-la-carte restaurant and bar, set in a multi-level house of horrors with entertainment provided by robotic skeletons. It even sported a tiny 30 seat close-up magic parlour in the basement. Using the latest computer controlled effects, this unique venue added a new dimension to interactive dining.
Drax 4 Kids
Where Dracula’s provides a night out for the adults, Drax 4 Kids give the little monsters something to scream about! Featuring pumping live rock music, special effects, comedy, puppetry, dancing, interactive games, and amazing aerial circus tricks, it’s an unforgettable day out.
Australia’s only purpose-built haunt attraction, the Haunted House was created to scare and amaze. Literally built from the ground-up, the Haunted House takes visitors to the Gold Coast underground, where they venture through 5 floors of haunts. A revamp in 2016 saw the introduction of several photo opportunity and selfie spots.
Human Body Experience
A joint venture project with the Science Centre Singapore, Dracula’s creators designed and built a custom ‘edutainment’ attraction. Aimed at educating primary school aged children, the HBX takes visitors on an exciting journey through different parts of the human body to inspire and excite. Over 250,000 visitors were swallowed by the HBX in its 2.5 year exhibition.