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Booklet - `Introducing the Barclay Theatre', 1956 Document Reg. No: HT 25856

Summary:
Thin paper booklet, consisting of two double sided pages folded in half.

It was printed and published in Melbourne in 1956 to promote the opening of the Barclay Theatre (Cinema) in Russell Street, Melbourne. It was built on the site of the King Theatre, which had been both a live theatre and a cinema.

It promotes itself as `Melbourne's Finest Theatre', and lists the facilities and services available to its patrons, including the fact that its first screening will be the American film `The Ten Commandments. which it expected to run for over a year.

The cinema was demolished in 1977, and replaced by the Russell Street Cinemas complex which opened the next year.
Description:
Thin paper booklet, consisting of two double sided pages folded in half.
Statement Of Significance:
This booklet is significant due to its links to Melbourne cinemas, specifically the launch of a new theatre, The Barclay, in 1956. It was Melbourne's first new theatre for over ten years, and was built on the site of the Kings Theatre, which had operated in Russell Street since 1890. It was able to incorporate newer building techniques, including steel girders which did away with the need for obstructive columns, as well as the latest technologies such as automatic air conditioning and a wide viewing screen.

Its early years were fraught with difficulties, as it found itself competing with the local television service, which was launched a couple of months after it opened. Attendances dropped as people choose to instead stay home, or visit friends who had TV sets. It was not until the mid 1960s, that audience numbers began to rise again.

It was purchased by the cinema chain Greater Union in the 1970s, who demolished it in 1977 and replaced it with a new complex, the Russell Street Cinemas, which still operates under their banner (as at August 2010.)
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 177 mm (Height), 250 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: cinema, australian television industry
Themes this item is part of: Information & Communication Collection, Leisure Collection
Primary Classification: RECREATION & TOURISM
Secondary Classification: Cinema
Tertiary Classification: promotional materials
Inscriptions: Printed on front cover: `Introducing the/ BARCLAY/ - MELBOURNE'S FINEST THEATRE'
Publisher: Barclay Theatre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1956
Printer: Renwick Pride, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1956
References: Cinema and Theatre Historical Society website (http://www.caths.org.au/) - Accessed 11/08/2010.

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