A Celebration of Art Deco Picture Palaces

The golden era of movie theatres is spotlighted in a new National Trust of Western Australia’s publication Picture Palaces of the Golden West launched by Heritage Minister the Hon Albert Jacob, Wednesday 6 July at MosArts, Mosman Park.

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National Trust of Western Australia President Max Kay CitWA said Greater Perth has more Art Deco cinemas still standing than any other capital city in Australia and this book provides an important social history of the changing role of cinema in the lives of West Australians from the advent of the first moving pictures to the present day.


“The publication presents a vibrant commitment to original research and a unique perspective on WA’s social and architectural history offered by the evocative Art Deco style of Western Australia’s picture palaces,” Mr Kay said.


“Places such Camelot (MosArts), the Astor, Cygnet, Piccadilly 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 based on the thesis ‘Versions of Modernism in Western Australian Cinema Design 1930-1940’ by Vyonne Geneve and is complemented by Ron Facius’ detailed hand illustrations.


“Long term collaborators Vyonne Geneve and Ron Facius are uniquely placed to bring this story to life and have campaigned through the Art Deco Society of Western Australia and the National Trust over decades for the future of Art Deco architecture.”


The book contains more than 400 images of Western Australian theatres and is dedicated to the cinema 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.


“Picture Palaces of the Golden West provides a detailed record of these places including those which have been demolished and is the most comprehensive record of WA’s cinema history available,” Mr Kay said.


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For more information contact Gina Pickering, National Trust of Western Australia Communication Officer on 9321 6088 or 0408 584 404