Forum 1&2, Melbourne, Vic
Located at 150-162 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria. The State Theatre was opened by Greater Union Cinemas on 23rd February 1929 with Clara Bow in "The Fleet's In". Seating 3,427 in an Atmospheric style auditorium, the State was the largest movie theatre in the Southern Hemisphere. Designed by Charles Bohringer and American theatre architect John Eberson. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 4Manual/21Rank(twin console) organ. The State Theatre closed as a single screen cinema on 8th March 1962.
Twinned in 1962, the former stalls area re-opened as the Forum Cinema, 21st April 1962 with a seating capacity of 944. The former balcony opened as the Rapallo Cinema on 20th December 1963 with a seating capacity of 627. Re-named Forum 1&2 Cinemas from July 1981, they were closed on 26th September 1986.
The theatre operated as a church for the following 9-years. It was purchased by the Marriners Theatre group in 1995 and now operates as a concert and special events venue in Forum 1 (downstairs) and a live performance/comedy & film venue in Forum 2 (upstairs).
The exterior of the building is Heritage listed.
Photographs taken by CTA member Kevin Gooding, with permission of Mariner Theatres. Photographed the visit to Melbourne that I organised for the UK based 'Cinema Theatre Association' in February/March 2006.
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