Page 16 - RD_2015_12
P. 16

The proscenium was fine in all four,
          but the influence of proportion made
          for real differences in visual effect. The
          prototype, South Yarra, was relatively
          small and had less of an impact, but the
          others were really impressive.
            Adelaide’s was the finest of them,
          with its arched and regally draped
          boxes inset deeply into the truncated
          ante-proscenium with finely detailed
          decoration on either side. The Regent,
          Sydney, cursed as it was with a shallow
          site, had its boxes crowded hard up
          against the main arch, and suffered
          visually as a consequence. Even the
          placing of the roundels was more
          pleasing in Adelaide.
            The decoration of the side-walls
          was more elaborate in Sydney. Plaster
          features adorned otherwise plain spaces
          that in Adelaide were initially covered
          with tapestries. It is a matter of
          personal preference, but I liked the way
          the Moroccan windows of Adelaide
          were stepped down to follow the line of
          the balcony floor, and the long-removed
            It must be obvious by now, if it
          hasn't been from the beginning, that in
          my opinion the Regent, Adelaide was
          architecturally the finest of all, because
          it remained true to one vision. The
          consistency and lack of excess from the
          entrance doors to the stage, the fine
          proportions that its site allowed, its
          impressive façade - the focal point of
          the city's main shopping street - and the
          sparkle with which loving maintenance
          and huge bunches of fresh flowers
          endowed it, won me over. I admired
          them all, but my first love was and is
          my greatest.
            * Euclid’s theorem with
          implications for art and architecture.

          From top:
          Elegant understatement: A tapestry hangs
          between the exit doors of the stalls.
          Above it the balustrade of the vomitorium
          is just visible. The spacious balcony c.
          1938. Adelaide. The width between the
          inner and outer proscenium allows full
          expression of the box compared with its
          cramped Sydney counterpart (far right).
          Images: Top and centre, JTC; bottom,
          Brian Pearson Collection (BPC)

          16  2006 CINEMARECORD
   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21