Forum 1 & 2 Theatres
150-62 Flinders Street,
150-62 Flinders Street,Melbourne, VIC 3000
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The original fire curtain is most certainly still there.
What a curtain!! Is the curtain still there?
Delightfully renovated in the 2010’s.
That lobby looks a treat.
Looking at these photo’s took me back to when I was a schoolboy and missed school in order to sit all day at the then State Theatre viewing ‘Phantom of the Opera'starring Claude Raines and Susanna Foster.Oh such golden days when theatres were really theatres.Later I went on to become a Page Boy at the Capitol Theatre and then a Film Projectionist at the Australia Cinema.I now run my own film production house. We have made a documentary on 'The Palaces of Dreams’ which includes the Capitol,Regent and State Theatres and can bepurchased by contacting thomas.di@bigpond..com
Kenroe thanks for all the great pictures.
A set of photographs taken by Cinema Theatre Association member Kevin Gooding in February 2006, during a visit I organised to Australia for members of the CTA (UK). Photographed with the kind permission of Marriner Theatres:
Auditorium of Forum 2 (former State Theatre balcony)
Auditorium of Forum 1 (former State Theatre stalls)
Clearly, the present owner is committed to allowing this beautiful building to fall into disrepair to the extent of demolition. Sadly, only the facade is heritage listed, giving free reign to build another skyscraper behind the original frontage. Tragically, the same developer also owns the beautiful Comedy Theatre in Exhibition Street, and would appear to be commited to the same fate.
jan 2009 photos of this stunning building, what they dont show is how tatty the exterior is, peeling paint and shabby damaged canopy
exterior photos – daytime
Yes…This is a great exterior photograph of the magnificent Forum Theatre (ex State), Melbourne
The State (the former name of the theatre) opened in February 1929. The opening films were Buster Keaton in “The Cameraman” and Clara Bow in “The Fleet’s In”. The daytime organist was Arnold Coleman with Frank Lanterman (from America) in the evening. I can’t remember the orchestra conductor – but I know the first one there was American.
The Wurltizer organ had two consoles, the one on the right was a ‘slave’ console – the registration came from the organist at the ‘master’ console. Apart from a few playings in 1929/30 the slave console was not used until some recordings were made with Aubrey Whelan and Laurie Wilson in the mid-fifties.
The auditorium was atmospheric and the ‘sun set’ behind the proscenium prior to the performance commencing. These effects as well as clouds in a night sky were supplied from a Brenograph projector. The “stars” were little lights in the ceiling.
There was apparently some consternation on opening night when a woman put up her umbrella thinking it was going to rain. This confusion was added to by live doves flying around.
There was some talk that Marriner theatres wanted to purchase the Russell Theatre behind the State and demolish it to allow expanding the State’s stage and fly-tower. He was also supposed to want to de-twin it and rename it The State. However I don’t know whether there is any substance to these rumours. I do know that they were not allowed to re-name it ‘'The State’ as one of the theatres in the Arts Centre now has this title.
The Forum (or The State as it was known up until being twinned) is largely intact and retains a lot of Eberson’s gorgeous atmospheric charm.
The main auditorium still has twinkly stars against a blue sky backdrop (admittedly the sky is a bit chipped and tatty) and there are still even fake cypress pines and a suspended ‘flying’ dove on the side of the auditorium there…I assume they haven’t been touched for years.
The lower auditorium is now mainly used as an alternative rock/music venue with acts such as Beck, Supergrass and Jamiroquai playing over the past years .The front seats have been removed as a dance area and the rear stalls replaced with booths. I used to see movies there as a kid in the ‘80’s and was always awestruck by the incredible interior (and exterior), Its funny to go there now and over hear comments from younger first timers at concerts in awe of the fabulous over the top architecture.
The upper auditorium interior hasn’t really changed apart from the addition of the screen when it was twinned and retains the incredible projection booth that sticks out at the back (looks like an Italian barn or something) Its pretty much in disuse at the moment despite having excellent projection and being fully Dolby equipped in the ‘80’s,
When twinned, the circle (forum 2) was named the Rapallo. It was so steep that one almost needed oxygen to reach the last row!