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29.  KOROIT MEMORIAL THEATRE                                               by Gerry Kennedy

            Koroit, is a small town situated north-west of warrnambool,  in VIctoria's Western District. This small commu-
            nity of about 1 ooo people, has very strong links with early Irish immigration! in Victoria.  The Memorial theatre
            is situated on the corner of commercial Road and commercial Place, andl is owned by the catholic Church,
            Parish of St. Patrie!<, Koroit. It is one of the few modern buildings In this historic town.

            Over the years the Film Weekly Motion Picture Directory lists the exhibitor Otf films in Koroit as various Catholic
            Church connections.  Three locations were used, the Koroit Mechanics lns;Ntute (600 seats) which is now the
            site of the Koroit Senior Citizens Rooms, the St. PatHcks School Hall (230 seats),  and finally the Memorial
            Theatre (408 seats).  The Church screened films on a commercial basis to1  raise funds for the Parish School.
            The Memorial, according to the commemorative plaque, was opened on 2 June, 1957 by J.D. Collins, Bishop
            of Ballarat.

            The Memorial is a two levelled building which utilized the steel frame, brick curtain wall method of construction.
            Cream bricks have been used on all exterior walls.  The original building included a large downstairs foyer, a
            smaller upstairs foyer, a double level auditorium and a kitchen (built behind the stage area).  A counterlevered
            verandah shelters the six entrance doors.  In later years a supper room was added to the rear of the building.

            The auditorium is of utilitarian design, and the ground floor being flat enables the building to be used for a
            variety of purposes.  The Memorial is the town's  main hall.  As is the case  of most multi-purpose facilities,
            various compromises are made to  accommodate the various uses.  The •:;inema component of the building
            dominates. Originally the theatre was designed with a ral\ed stalls floor, but wisely the bishop insisted that a flat
            floor be built.

            The auditorium is rather spartan in decor with the walls being  coated in cream painted  cement render,  The
            ceiling with its exposed trusses is of a low gable design.  The side walls arE: splayed to the bow fronted stage.
            The modest stage  has  a sloped  floor.  Fluted  plaster has been  used  to  form the  proscenium.  Red  stage
            curtains are used.

            The stalls area is accessed through two doors, directly from the main entrance foyer.  Flip up seats, in groups
            of five, are mounted on timber skids to allow for easy removal when required.

            A staircase, on the left hand side of the foyer, leads to the small upstairs foyer (built along the left hand side of
            the auditorium).  A feature of this area is an imitation fireplace with an illuminated mantlepiece and mirrored
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