Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sydney Theatres & public halls

We were enjoying fruit cake and tea with our nan, Rita, over the Queen's Birthday long weekend and got talking about how good Sydney's cinemas were in the "old days".  It was the 1940s, Rita was in her 20s, and you would get a movie and a live orchestra for just 2/-6 in "old money".

The conversation deepened as the rain started outside; we talked about Sydney's picture halls and theatres, and settled on Rita's favourite, the Prince Edward theatre. She told us story after story of movies watched, ice creams eaten, what she wore, but couldn't recall which street it had been on, so we promised to find out when we got home.

The next day I caught up with Christine Yeats from State Records NSW and we got talking about underutilised archives in the collection and what should she pull out but "Archives in Brief 36 - Theatres and public halls". Strange how different streams collide! This collection offers some wonderful insights into the history of the stage and silver screen in Sydney, including registers of licences, inspections carried out by the Board of Fire Commissioners, seating plans and more.

It truly is amazing what your archives hold. The State Records NSW reading rooms are located at:

[1]  Western Sydney Records Centre. 143 O'Connell Street, Kingswood
[2]  Sydney Records Centre. 2 Globe Street, The Rocks, Sydney

How do I use the reading rooms? Find out at State Records NSW online or ask directly on 02 9673 1788. Happy reading and see you at the movies! Oh, and we found out that the Prince Edward was located between Castlereagh and Elizabeth Streets in the CBD!

Follow State Records NSW on twitter at @SRNSW and facebook at State Records NSW, we do and look forward to their updates.

State Theatre Sydney | Source: City of Sydney

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