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Hoyts executive. Nevertheless, taken in
          isolation, the Melbourne foyer has an
          intimate splendour that would not be
          out of place in a Spanish palace.
            In varying degrees of grandeur and
          space, the approaches to the auditoria
          of the Regents of South Yarra, Ballarat,
          Sydney and Adelaide -and including the
          Regent Fitzroy and Victory, St. Kilda
          (a Regent in all but name) - achieved
          architectural consistency and restrained
          good taste.
            Sydney was an example of a site
          imposing severe design constraints.
          Limited depth for the foyers forced the
          architect to wind the main staircase
          around the walls of a very shallow
          space to the Dress Circle foyer. As a
          solution to an unfortunate situation, it
          was successful and visually interesting,
          but it couldn’t begin to compare with
          the graduated approach to the
          impressive marble staircase of its
          Adelaide sister, where a huge marble
          eagle was poised at the top with wings
          spread, ready to take off over the
          patrons’ heads.
          Circle Foyers
            All of the theatres had spacious
          circle foyers with rich decoration, fine
          furniture and works of art. The Sydney
          murals at each end of the vaulted space
          were beautiful, but lacked strength
          because of the restrained colours used,
          making them something to be glanced
          at, but not compelling enough to be
          enjoyed at length.
            Those in Melbourne and Adelaide
          were impressive - classical Greek and
          then mediaeval pageantry - based
          appropriately enough, on the themes of
          a Technicolor film in the case of
          Melbourne, and dramatic charging
          centaurs in Adelaide.
            Gold leaf glittered on the mouldings
          of the coffered ceilings. Whereas
          Melbourne’s space was fit for a royal
          reception, centred on the elegant marble
          mantelpiece at its far end, the Adelaide
          stairs turned back on themselves
          towards Rundle Street. Patrons then
          climbed a few more steps and entered
          an art gallery immediately behind the
          arched windows, which looked down
          on the bustling shoppers below.
          The Auditorium
            In the end however, it is the
          intermittently colourful, then dark  Adelaide. From top: Entrance and staircase; the eagle poised;  promenade to the art
          space from which the audience views  gallery and smoking room. Images: John Thiele Collection. (JTC)
          the entertainment, that needs to be most
          carefully planned. Current thinking
          emphasizes the auditorium as an

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