Page 11 - CinemaRecord Edition 3-2002 #37
P. 11

Ray Ryan Remembers

             he Armadale Picture Theatre was    Patrons also went across the road to
         Tthe first picture theatre I visited as  the lolly shop opposite. I never went
          a child in the thirties. Located on the  upstairs to the lounge or circle. My
          southern side of High Street between  older sister Lorraine explained to me
          Kooyong Road and the railway bridge,  that we couldn’t afford it. Two regular
          it is now the show room for Sothebys,  patrons of the front stalls every
          the Fine Art auctioneers. The theatre  Saturday night were an elderly couple.
          was perfectly positioned for public  Harry and Florrie had favourite seats.
          transport - the Glen Iris tram past the  For devilment the local lads used to
          door, Armadale station immediately  hurry down and sit in their seats. On
          behind and the Kooyong Road bus    finding them occupied Florrie would
          service 150 yards east. For all of its  say, “Harry, tell them to go to buggery”.
          life it never had a rival along the full  Once a year the nearby Armadale
          length of High Street.             State School Mothers and Fathers
            The Armadale was one of a few    Committee would hold a fund raising
          theatres to have a sliding section of  night at the theatre. The school band
          roof. I remember the roof opening on a  would play items before and during the
          very hot evening. Only in recent years  interval.
          was the sliding section replaced by
          corrugated iron, the mechanism that
          operated it left hanging from the
          rear wall.
            The theatre had built-in shops
          either side of the entrance.
          The one on the right
          sold sweets and
          drinks while the
          other was
          closed in
          my time.

          Top: A reconstruction of the first revue cover.  Above: Actual program remnant. Note artist 14. Two small dressing rooms were built
          in 1940. An internal Health Department comment was that the dressing room space will be adequate because although 30 acts are
          billed, a performer may appear up to five times under a different name.
          Source: Public Records Office/Melb. Archives Centre.

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