Adelaide’s Silver Screens


Adelaide used to be sprawling with
cinemas with ten in the CBD alone today there are only four of these historic
cinemas left in Adelaide the first public screening took place on Monday
the 19th of October in 1896 at the Theatre Royal which was located on
Hindley Street and has since been demolished the Capri Theatre first
opened on Wednesday the 8th of October 1941 it is one of Adelaide’s oldest
cinemas and is home to one of the largest theatre pipe organs in South
Australia in 2016 the Capri celebrated its 75th anniversary the theatre itself
was owned by Dan Clifford and then Clifford was the owner of the Star
Theatre circuit which meant all around Adelaide and it was also in three of the
country towns and he started 1916 and he had the biggest operating chain of
cinemas for any privately owned person in the whole of Australia and gradually
built more and more theaters and acquired theaters and also leases on
some of the the town halls around the place like the Woodville Town Hall
Thebarton Hall and the Hindmarsh Townhall and they were used as cinemas
on Saturday night the theatre itself architectural was designed by Chris
Smith who is a well known Art Deco architect or was a well-known architect
in terms of Art Deco in Adelaide he designed
lots of theaters and made modifications to theatres also designed a lot of Art
Deco Council Chambers Brighton Council Chambers Port Adelaide Council Chambers
they were designed by him so this was one of his theaters and it’s called the
style of is called Art Deco modern because the earlier Art Deco theatres
were more angulated and more elaborate in their design features whereas this
one is streamlined design and you don’t find
light fittings dangling from the ceilings like you did in lot of those
and big elaborate light fittings around on the walls and things so most things
here so they’re streamlined and the sort of geometrical design pattern here is
circles and semicircles I think the Capri is a great example of
what going to the cinemas used to be like so it has that old-world charm and
atmosphere and but more so it’s about maintaining a heritage listed building
so many old buildings and knock down these days but keeping part of that
old-time glamour and examples of Art Deco architecture alive and
available for young people to see and to visit on a daily basis yeah so a
Heritage listed building does mean that whenever there is work to be done that
it must be passed through the state heritage people so that they could
ensure that we’re and being sympathetic to when the building was first built and
and you know so it does mean that there’s a few hoops to jump through
whenever we want to do some work and but at least it means that we’ve got
somebody double-checking to make sure that we are being true to the original
design so it’s a good thing just it’s a bit time-consuming and but also the fact
that any old building is obviously going to come with and maintenance issues
where bits and pieces fall off here and there and more regularly than what would
happen with a newer building so there’s always something to do and
there’s always a maintenance job or a long list of maintenance jobs to be
completed yeah the local council the City of London Council who have been
very supportive and there aren’t any state heritage or federal heritage
grants available at this point in time and so the council who don’t usually
give to heritage state Heritage listed buildings have opened up their
conservation grant to us and have been very generous and very supportive
in their in all of the work that we’re doing which is a tie in nicely with the
upgrade of Goodwood roads so yeah they’ve certainly been there
been good friends throughout this the process often people hear about
having fundraising events or screenings going on at the Capri and they believe
that it’s only open for events but we’re open every night Tuesday to Sunday with
the latest film screening so we always choose the latest releases because even
though an event or a big part of our business we want to make sure we are
putting on something that has a real broad appeal to for them but also for
the people in the in the local area so people can come along and watch a movie
and have a glass of wine or a beer and we sell Haiges chocolates in the candy bar
and popcorn so as with any other functioning cinema and you know you can
see a movie at any time. you can support us number one by coming in and watching a
movie and it’s a nice environment to to do it in as well and you can also book
events here and – whether it’s a fundraising event for your local
community sports club or whatever it is and we host them regularly I think we
had about 320 of them in the last financial year so almost every night of
the week there is something going on so and it’s helping you but also helping us
and and then lastly volunteering however much time you can spare whether it’s a
day a week a day and one day month or a couple of days a months and we
appreciate any help that we can get Rundle street was once home to six
theaters the plaza theater the Rex picture theatre the Savoy the sturt theatre
the York and finally the regent the regent was once known as Australia’s
most luxurious picture theatre it was one of the first public buildings in Adelaide to be air-conditioned and it seated 2,300 patrons the theater was closed
temporarily in 1961 to allow six shops to be built facing a laneway on the side
of the theatre in 1967 plans were drawn up to accommodate 38 stores on the
ground level the regent operated until it closed on the 28th of January 2004
the theaters interior was gutted and became Regent arcade a shopping strip in
Rundle Mall Hindley Street was also a prime location
for theatres home to three the Metro theater my fair lady and the West
theatre King William Street was also home to a theater known as the majestic
theatre Wallis Academy was another past cinema
in Hindmarsh Square that closed in 2007 today only two cinemas called the CBD
home the palace Nova on Rundle Street and the gu film house on Hindley
Street along with the capri there are two other Art Deco style cinemas the
Piccadilly cinema and the Regal theater formerly known as the Chelsea the Odeon
star in summer forward is another one of us least oldest cinemas all four are
still operating today the Piccadilly cinema first opened on the 23rd of
October 1940 it had a single screen and was operated by the Clifford theatre
circuit it was taken over by greater Union cinemas in the late 1960s and
renamed the forum cinema it was purchased by Wallis theatres in 1983 and
converted into a three screen cinema it was renamed the Piccadilly today the
Piccadilly is still operated by Wallis cinemas and screens new release and 3d
films the Chelsea cinema was one of Adelaide’s oldest cinemas it was under
threat of being sold off to the highest bidder in 2009 there were fears that the
beloved historic theater would be lost forever the theatre was purchased by
Republic theatres and turned into the Regal the Odeon star first opened on the
22nd of May 1920 as the Wonder graft picture palace in 1952 it was taken over
by greater Union cinema chain and reopened on the 12th of June 1952 it was
once again closed and turned into a furniture store part of the building was
refurbished and turned back into a cinema opening as the Odeon star on the
19th of December 1991 Hoff’s secondhand Emporium continued to
operate in part of the building until 1997 the whole building is once again a
cinema with three screens movies weren’t the only thing being shown in theaters
many would visit the theatre to see the latest newsreels during World War 2
newsreels would show the truth and vast impact of the war asset
there seems to be an air of unreality as though the war we’re a million miles
away it’s not just outside a door now I’ve seen the war and I know what your
husband’s the sweethearts and brothers are going through if only everybody in
Australia could realize that this country’s and kill that the Japanese are
well-equipped and dangerous enemy you might forget about the trivial things
and go ahead with a job of licking them jungle warfare is a new kind of warfare
it tears up textbooks and confounds the experts it has played and will play a
vital part in the Pacific conflict the Allied nations must master jungle
tactics and all that the term implies if the Japanese are to be torn out of their
conquered Empire it has remained for an Australian to bring to the world
the first vivid starkly dramatic glimpses of the eerie jungle conflict
battle with unseen enemies almost incredible hardship newsreels also
showed various other things such as this cricket match played in Adelaide the
fourth Test in Adelaide with other models a last-minute choice in
Australia’s team scoring freely off skadam there’s two on this one and
Australia needs them and how she needs them stat him again the tall Englishman
falling without luck and Mara’s hits him square for another to the Australian
opener gets 25 before his up but he and McDonald took the score of 59 before
they were separated well she’s no one I’d better go anyway heavily odd to
McDonald the Australians 48 but he pushes this one straight to May at
forward shortly to four 115 not a bad start even if MacDonald
selection was criticized Appleyard Zahavi
and the left-hander swings luckily his timings out there on the ball runs down
to fine leg they’ll get to before Edwards and even the construction of a
new road one month main road Hoover tingle day impossible not to the
engineers men and machines of the New South Wales government main roads Lord
in the beginning come the survey and driving into the wilderness a mechanised
invading force tearing out top freezer program
bulldozers on the job going down obstacles as a 500-ton rough they’re building a strategic road
leading well let’s say from hither tither
it’s on the hush-hush live although there is versatile whether it
be huge trees or 10-ton Rock this terrific pushing car takes care of the
situation that’s carry-all swetha scoop
australian-built and shits a thousand tonnes a day does
the work of 100 men in loans carries and spreads even layers of Road surfacing
the contamination that brings about helps eliminate corrugation low
frequency senior South Australia’s obsession with film didn’t stop at
picture theaters there were once 35 drive-in cinemas across the state and
now only one remains the main line driving located at job’s cross operated
by Wallace cinemas to remove the speaker from its stand and place it within the
car secondly adjust the volume control just right for lard left us up the
mobile snack bar service flick down switch on right
we must issue this warning no attempt should be made to disconnect the speaker to do so will immediately register on a
red light on our control panel the skyline caters for every member of
the family let the children enjoy themselves in the
playground and everybody will want to visit the snack bar where appetizing
food and drinks are always available and the barbecue for that luscious juicy
steak one final word when the performance ends and before moving
replace the speaker on its stand you then drive forward and you move to the
right you must never reverse out of your
position thank you everyone we trust you have a pleasant evening since the early inception of motion
picture film by the Lumiere brothers in the 1890s people have lovely experience
of seeing films on the big screen good evening and welcome to television
with the introduction of television and Australia on the 16th of September 1956
it has since been said that this was the reason patron numbers dropped up many
picture houses around the country today Australians still enjoy the cinema
experience many families will create new memories and with today’s emerging
technology we can only wait to see what the cinema experience will be in the
years to come

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