Page 15 - RD_2015_12
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At the Regent, Collins Street it is a
          pity that the original proscenium arch,
          closely modelled like the rest of the
          room, on the Capitol, New York was
          squared during the otherwise faithful
          rebuild after the fire. On the other hand,
          the classical colonnade on either side,
          the perforated plasterwork of the present
          proscenium, and the array of smaller
          domes which surround the great central
          one combine to present an auditorium
          which achieves magnificence, yet
          avoids an excess of decoration.
          The Proscenium
            It is the great arch of the
          proscenium, made up of perforated
          plaster modules washed with changing
          colours, and occupied by a magnificent
          main drop curtain, at various times a
          scalloped French Empire drape which
          caught those colours, and later deeply
          fringed velvet, which is for me the most
          characteristic and loved feature of the
          Regent theatres. It was a feature shared
          by South Yarra, Ballarat, Sydney and
          Adelaide. Author and illustrator May
          Gibbs provided Snugglepot and
          Cuddlepie with a gum-leaf theatre with
          an arch which was clearly derived from

          Above: ‘At the Picture Show’ from
          The Story of Snugglepot and Cuddle Pie,
          by May Gibbs.
          Right from top: Adelaide c. 1939.
          The raised waterfall curtain shows off the
          inner curtains. The new look c.1940.
          A rich red crushed velvet Act Drop
          replaced the waterfall and the orchestra
          pit is filled in. The base of the organ
          platform and the fountain. The organ was
          always stationary, but many Regent fans
          swear that it rose on a lift. This illusion
          was all in the lighting. Images: JTC.

                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2006 15
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