Guildford, Australia’s historic Regent Theatre was built in the 1920s and thrilled the locals with picture shows and movies for decades, but today the historic space houses a more diverse, enriching, and morbid attraction in the form of the Academy of Taxidermy.
The Academy of Taxidermy is the work of master taxidermist Michael Buzza who moved his massive collection of preserved animals into the theatre space in 2005. The sprawling collection contains a wide range of natural history displays including conserved animal body parts, replications, dinosaur statues, pinned insects, and on and on, all held under a unique Art Deco roof. Thousands of specimens fill the tightly packed rows of displays and are constantly added or rotated out as animals are loaned to movie shoots and other educational displays.
Adding to the wild feel of the menagerie are the speakers that pipe in animal noises as guests stroll the aisles. There is also a lounging dog that looks very much like it may have been someone’s pet that awaits people as they enter, making the academy seem both more unique and more personal.
The facility doubles as the natural history museum in Guildford and also offers taxidermy services for anyone who might want to create a decorative dead animal all of their own.
Know Before You Go
Across the road from Alfred's Kitchen. The exhibits are delicate, so ask the front desk before taking photos without flash. Around the back of the theatre are additional dinosaur models, the staff will direct you to these as you leave. You can hire any of the taxidermy or dinosaur models for events.