81 Barrack Street,
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Firms: Sheldon & Krantz
Functions: Live Music Venue, Live Performances
Previous Names: Kimberley Theatre, Liberty Cinema
At 81 Barrack Street, the Liberty Theatre became Perth’s first art house cinema opening 1st March 1954. The architectural firm Sheldon & Krantz (the principals of which were Jewish refugees) was engaged to transform the first floor of a goldrush era building into an intimate contemporary cinema with the express purpose of screening foreign-language and art house films - mostly, of course, European.
As a speciality ‘European’ house it lasted less than a decade, but it endured screening a variety of film genres until the early-1990’s (by which time it had been renamed the Kimberley Theatre and was showing Chinese martial arts films). When I was a teenager, I remember it as the Perth ‘home’ of the Sydney Poitiers film “To Sir With Love”, which screened there for well over two years! It was closed in October 1997 and converted to retail use. It was renovated and reopened in November 2022 as a live music venue and in January-February 2023 hosted the Perth Fringe Festival.
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Recent comments (view all 18 comments)
I can,t believe that To Sir With Love ran in one theatre for almost 2 yrs anywhere in the world not even here in the USA. Is this correct?
Reference dickneeds111 comment regarding the Liberty Theatre season for “To Sir With Love”– Greg Lynch says – As a comparison the Odeon Theatre in Bourke St, Melbourne ran “To Sir With Love” from Jan 5, 1968 to Sept 26,1968 – from memory it was locked in by the powers that be for a 2 week season, and then became a real surprise sleeper, running 9 months in total..It’s hard to know exactly how long this title ran at The Liberty, (with what little records that are available) “BUT” it would have been big. Also there is the possibility that the season was extended with limited screenings. Your guess, or does this mean a visit to the records office of the West Australian Newspaper??… “LOVE THIS BUSINESS”
Or you could try looking on the microfilm of the West Australian newpapapers in the Alexander Library(3rd floor, Battye Library), or possibly on online on Trove? The New Oxford Theatre(now Luna Leederville), ran the Movie “The Gods must be crazy” for over 2 years, maybe even 3 years, saving that thestre, so long movie runs are possible.
The dressmaking store is called Sew Unique Clothing Alterations. The adult movie “Emmanuelle screened in Paris, France for over 18 years(a World record i think?), i forget which cinema or cinemas it screened in there!!?
The Liberty Theatre got a mention on the Channel 7 news(6 pm) in Perth, Western Australia, Australia, showing the outside(including the neon sign) and the inside too(the seats appear to be gone?). A man(name unknown?) has brought it(use unknown at the moment?).
The news item was on 12/2/2021.
Also known as Liberty Cinema.
There is plans to renovate and reopen the Liberty Theatre.
This theatre us going to be reopened for the 2023 Perth Fringe Festival for stand up comedy shows by British comedian Ross Noble.
The Liberty Theatre reopened in November 2022 as a live music venue after being restored.