Barkly Theatre

281-283 Barkly Street,
Melbourne, VIC 3011

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Taken on: January 28, 2023

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Date time: 2023-01-28 17:20:29 +0000

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Barkly Theatre 281-283 Barkly Street, Footscray, VIC

Barkly Theatre 281-283 Barkly Street, Footscray, VIC

The Barkly Theatre opened on 17th October 1914 with pictures and vaudeville on the programme. The architectural firm of William A.M. Blackett & Forster designed a splendid Edwardian Baroque style building which was richly decorated.

Originally the exterior of the building had a tower located at each end on top of the facade which had the name of the theatre mounted on top. Today only the stumps of the towers remain.

The foyer area was rather small considering the size and capacity of the theatre. Inside the auditorium, seating was arranged in stalls and balcony levels. The gently curved ceiling was decorated in panels which had beautiful plaster mouldings.

It originally opened as an independently operated cinema, but was taken over by Hoyts Theatres chain in 1926 and they continued to operate it through the rest of its cinematic life. Hoyts closed the Barkly Theatre on 20th January 1962. The floor in the stalls was re-aligned by leveling at the stage end and stepping towards the rear. Seating was retained in the balcony and it re-opened as the Fiesta Cabaret & Reception Room which continued until 1977 - Notes by Ken Roe

Contributed by Greg Lynch -

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