Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Former Minister for Environment; Heritage

    New book celebrates golden era of Art Deco cinemas

    7/07/2016 7:00 AM
    • 10 years of research captures the role of movies in WA's development 

    The golden era of movie theatres in Western Australia is captured in a new National Trust of Western Australia publication, Picture Palaces of the Golden West.


    Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said the book told the important social history of the introduction of cinema to isolated Perth and the changing role of cinema in WA.


    "Greater Perth has more Art Deco cinemas still standing than any other capital city in Australia, so we have reason to celebrate these landmark buildings and the story they tell about the advent of the first moving pictures to the present day," Mr Jacob said.


    "The publication presents a vibrant commitment to original research and a unique perspective on the State's social and architectural history offered by the evocative Art Deco style of picture palaces.


    "Places such as Camelot, the Astor, Cygnet and Sun Pictures in Broome played and still play important roles in the social and recreational lives of many West Australians and are important to our collective heritage."


    Developed over a decade, this book is written by Perth historian Vyonne Geneve and is complemented by detailed hand illustrations by graphic artist Ron Facius.


    The Minister said that as long-term collaborators, Ms Geneve and Mr Facius were uniquely placed to bring the story to life.  They had campaigned through the Art Deco Society of Western Australia and the National Trust over decades to conserve and restore Art Deco architecture.


    The book contains more than 400 images of Western Australian picture palaces and is dedicated to the architects of the 1930s who brought the glamour of Hollywood to an isolated city.


    Picture Palaces of the Golden West is available from the National Trust of Western Australia and Boffins Books.


    Fact File

    • Perth's first motion picture was shown in 1896 to a street audience by a projection from a Barrack Street hotel balcony
    • The first regular picture show was at Cremorne Gardens in Murray Street
    • Australians originally used the term 'picture palaces' to refer to big, ornate city theatres rather than the American term 'cinema' 

    Minister's office - 6552 5800


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