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AFI research collection
Reference Type book
Title The Picture Palaces of Melbourne
Author(s)Trevor Walters
Town Melbourne
State VIC
Country Australia
Publication Date 00-00-2003
Citation Date
Comments Trevor Walters book is a comprehensive guide to cinema history in Melbourne. I found his book to be one of the most reliable and well-researched texts on this topic, and perhaps the best text on Melbourne specific cinema. The book has been referred to by the ‘Technicolour Yawn” as essential for anyone wanting to know about cinemas within Melbourne. This is because it contains substantial information regarding a range of cinemas, as well as detailed specifics on each cinema. For my uses, I found the discussion on the ‘Albany’ or ‘Pussy Galore’ Cinema’s history and content shown to be of great practical use. It clearly details that the Cinema opened as the Albany Newsreel Theatre on 30 October 1936, and details the demise of the newsreel and the eventual emergence of adult-film cinema as a viable alternative. It contains accurate information regarding the Albany’s transformation, discussing its stages operating as the Albany Cinema, the Pussy Galore and the Pussy Cat Cinema. It even makes mention of its current state, operating as a retail space since 1989. The discussion of the takeover by Shaft Sinema Company was practically significant for my purposes as they were the ones who converted the failing space into a specialized adult-cinema in 1978. It serves to illustrate that while some cinemas struggled to compete with television, it was those presenting unique content, unavailable on television, that would re-attract lost and new audiences. While factually significant regarding the Albany’s history, the book did not discuss a range of content shown for this specific cinema (perhaps due to the nature of the content). Whilst it was made clear it showed controversial films, as well as sex films. Yet while a more comprehensive discussion on the content of this cinema would be useful for my purposes, I understand that this text is intended for the audience of cinema-history enthusiasts, not adult-cinema specialists. In this light, it is a very useful tool in comparing Melbourne cinemas, as well as outlining general reasons for each cinemas popularity. - Jarred Hofman
Synopsis Trevor Walters book outlines the history of both theatre and film in Melbourne. The book contains detailed and well-researched historical information regarding venues, films screened, as well as discussion of the development of cinema-technology and key figures involved in film culture.

tags: Adult Cinema Albany Newsreel Pussy Cat Cinema Pussy Galore R Rated sex Technicolour Yawn 
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Cinemas Mentioned ( click to view )

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