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AFI research collection
Reference Type book
Title Cinemas of Australia via USA
Author(s)Ross Throne
Town Barkly
State VIC
Country Australia
Publication Date 00-00-1981
Citation Date
Comments The most part of article is about architectural characteristics of Barkly Theatre.

In article, it is said that the theatre had two towers which looked similar to water tank.

In Building (May 12, 1915, p113), they were strongly criticized because of their “ugliness”. Even though the theatre’s design was criticized, it still means that Barkly theatre drew people’s attention. (Otherwise no one criticized it.) The article also mention about the significance of Barkly theatre. Its design was new in Melbourne at that time. The Barkly Theatre had a fly-tower stage with little wing space which was suitable for touring theatrical groups. It was profitable because of rent from them. I think this was noteworthy because it shows how the theatre made profit. Old theatre did not have various ways to earn the money (mainly from tickets), so get the rent from theatrical troupe is good strategy to run the theatre and make profit.

Overall, this article is much about architectural characteristics of Barkly theatre. It will be useful for people who want to explore the topic (cinema venue) from architectural point. But for me, it was not really helpful because I want to know how the theatre drew people’s attention,( strategy for making profit), activity in theatre.

Greg Wanniarachchi: There were lot of quotations in this book about the venue and floor map the venue that I haven't yet to seen in any reference material. End Comment

Synopsis Used In Melbourne Capitol Theater Assignment (Greg Wanniarachchi)

From Pages 96 to 101 of this book only focuses on the architecture of the Melbourne Capitol Theatre, Architectural writer Robin Boyd (1965) referred to the Melbourne Capitol Theatre as “the best cinema that was ever build or is likely to be built”. In this book it also describes the Capitol as a breath of fresh air wafting through the design offices of Melbourne. A type of modernity in the 1920’s that swept out every vestige of revivalist decoration being so rich and magical yet not resorting to vulgarity.

The opening night of the Melbourne Capitol Theatre was a private function. It was reported that six policemen were detailed to control the crowds and to figure out the admittance. It was also reported that the theater had a grand opening.

Councillor Brunton, who was the Lord Mayor of Melbourne during that time, opened the ceremony. “This handsome building is a worth addition to the architecture of the city” was quoted before the opening of the theater to the public.

Mr. Herman Phillips, then speaker of the House of Representative announced that building theatre had cost the city 580,000 pounds.

In 1938, Jack Lester, arrived from United States to produce the Paramount concept of “quick-fire”. This was several stage shows that were lasting about three quarters of an hour and consisting of acts each only three or four minutes in duration. These shows were to be produced by Australian performers at Paramount Theatres throughout the country commencing only at the Melbourne Capitol Theatre.

End Reference (Greg Wanniarachchi)
tags: Councilor Brunton Herman Phillips Jack Lester Lord Mayor Melboure Capital Theater Paramount Theaters Quick-fire Robin Boyd 
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