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Letters                            A Change To Street Level
                                                                                  Princes Bridge, which spans the
                                                                               Yarra River dates from 1886 when it
                                                                               replaced a single arch bridge. The
                       Australia                                               height of this new bridge necessitated
                  ABN 37 195 378 179                                           raising street level along the west side
                    Reg A0020747R                                              of Swanston Street at least as far as
                                                                               Collins Street. Contemporary reports
           The aims of CATHS are: to record the  The Picket That Didn't Stop The  tell of shops losing their basements, of
           history of cinemas and theatres, and to  Show!                      doors and windows protruding above
           promote interest in theatre heritage and  The picket remnant unearthed on
           architecture, and other related areas.                              the pavement.
                                            the site of what became the Capitol
                       Patrons:             theatre (CinemaRecord 57) invites     Whether this re-alignment
           Frank Van Straten OAM Peter Smith OAM  consideration of its possible history.  continued as far as the site of what
                      Philip Brady                                             would become the Capitol I do not
                                               Robyn Annear in A City Lost and
                     Committee:             Found wrote about the sale of the land  know. Furthermore, this ‘burial’ would
            President: Gerry Kennedy 5174 1870                                 not explain a picket from a fence, but it
           Vice President: Peter Wolfenden 9744 2570  bounded by Collins, Swanston and  is an example of the need to consider
            Secretary: Mike Trickett 5278 1986  Little Collins Streets. The first land  every fact.
            Treasurer: Barrie Wraith 9435 9785  auction in Bearbrass (an early name for  Henry Jamieson, Balwyn
                Rodney Bendix 9563 2927     the settlement) was in 1837 when
                 Shane Moore 9859 5126      Captain Henry Howey bought the two-
                         ★                  acre site for one hundred and twenty
                    Qld. Convenor:          pounds. At the outset this area was on
               Steve Maggs 0413 805 320     the fringe of the ‘Village’, which was
                         ★                  expanding from government buildings,
            Archivist: Gerry Kennedy 5174 1870  mainly in William Street.
                  Events Co-ordinator:         Development as far as Swanston
                 Brian Miller 9557 7446     Street was impeded by a creek, often
                   Film Buffs Group:
                 Mike Trickett 5278 1986    impassable after heavy rain. This later
                  Publications Sales:       became Elizabeth Street. Grazing and
                Garry Saunders 9812 7227    vineyards continued at the Spring Street
           Membership Secretary: Peter O’Reilly  end of Collins Street into the 1840s.
              PO Box 393 Cobram Vic. 3644
                 CinemaRecord Editor:          For the picket to have been buried
                       Ian Smith            four foot below street level suggests it
             was a squatter’s farm fence. The land
                    CATHS website:          along what was to become Swanston
                  Street must have been filled in before
                    Postal address:
               PO Box 476, Bentleigh 3204.  any substantial building could take place.
                         ★                     Captain Howey and his family were  Harry Kirkland with the picket he mounted
                                            lost at sea between Melbourne and  and framed for CATHS.
           Annual membership subscription is $40,  Sydney and the property was  Modern Acoustics
           (overseas subscribers $50) and   bequeathed to a brother. Howey Place,
           members receive four copies of   which threads its way through the block  The account of attempts to manage
           CinemaRecord, notification of events,  commemorates this history. In the  better acoustics (CR57), reminded me
           and copies of the agenda and minutes  Swanston Street section a Colonel  that the sound in the Melbourne
           of all meetings. There is no joining fee.   Wilson bought a group of three-storey  Concert Hall was initially described in
           Meetings                         buildings on the south side of what  newspapers as ‘thin and reedy’, but I
           Meetings are held on the last Sunday of  became known as the Talma Building,  have no complaint about sound at any
           February, April, June, August, October &  formerly Buxton’s Art Gallery.   performance I have attended.
           November.                                                              At the school where I taught the
           Archive                             These buildings - shoe shops and  theatre looked to be a poor design -
           The Archive is located in the Prahran  cafes - were demolished by Whelan  rectangular box, concrete blocks with
           Mechanics’ Institute, 140 High Street  The Wrecker in 1921, to make way for  plastic seats - but it had good acoustics,
           Prahran, 9510 3393. The Archive will  the ten-storey, maximum height office
           be open between 9.30am and 12.30pm  block and theatre designed by Walter  and for this reason was favoured by
           on the Saturday before each meeting  Burley Griffin. Various names for the  outside companies for operetta and
           (see above), and at other times by  building were toyed with during  musical comedy without amplification.
           appointment with the archivist.  construction, but Capitol prevailed.   No doubt experts can explain this.
           Publications                        The Howey family continued its link  Roderick Smith, Surrey Hills
           Back issues of CinemaRecord, other  with the site. One member was on the
           publications, CDs and videos are
           available at meetings. Items are also  board that first controlled the theatre.
           available by mail. Please contact Garry  John Payne, Mulgrave
           Saunders on 9812 7227 for details.

          4   2008 CINEMARECORD
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