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They Don't Build Them Like they Used To - The State Theatre, Sydney - The HDR Experience by Philip Johnson

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They Don't Build Them Like they Used To - The State Theatre, Sydney - The HDR Experience by 


For more detailed information on the theatre that put the *Palace in the term "Movie Palace* go to*

The State Theatre is without doubt a truly magnificent and unique building.

Its importance has been recognised by The National Trust of Australia that has classified it as “a building of great historical significance and high architectural quality, the preservation of which is regarded as essential to our heritage”.

Alongside other Sydney icons, the State Theatre occupies a magical place in the hearts and minds of generations of its patrons. For over 70 years it has enchanted and captivated all those who have used and continue to use its surroundings and facilities.

Since opening in 1929, this 2000 seat venue has been owned and operated by the Greater Union Organisation, part of the AHL group of companies. The inspirational design of architect Henry White fuses eclectic elements of Gothic, Italian and Art deco design to produce an exquisite theatre, which can truly be described as a “Palace of Dreams”.

The State Theatre palatial interiors feature artworks and fixtures of rare significance. The Dress Circle gallery houses artworks by significant Australian artists including William Dobell and Charles Wheeler whilst located in auditorium, the Koh-I-Nor cut crystal chandelier is the second largest on earth, weighing over four tonnes.

From the opening performance, the State Theatre has been an integral part of the social and cultural fabric of Sydney. Its unparalleled history is a reflection of a dynamic city’s changing face, acting like a mirror to nearly a century of progress.

It was created as the “Palace of Dreams” and through fun, laughter, music, drama, romance and art it will continue to reflect the dreams and hopes of all those who grace its doors.

So why not take a “walk back through time” By clicking any of the “thumbnails” below you can take a look at the past and see why the State Theatre is so special.

Equipment,Nikon D300, Sigma 10-20mm lens
Technique HDR, Five Bracketted Images

Philip Johnson is a Photographer located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Specialising in HDR photography his works have been shown in galleries,published in Tourism campaigns. His work will also be available as Jig Saws through Crown & Andrews

Winner of the Art Unlimited Photography prize 2011

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  • Rebecca Bryson
    Rebecca Brysonabout 6 years ago

    I really love the angle you took this shot from but I think that you over processed the HDR a bit and it makes it appear more flat than it probably is in reality. I am saying this with love and would like to see a version with the HDR but a less processed one. Please add this to the Architecture and cityscapes group as it is an awesome photo. A fav for sure and you are right they do not build em like they used to

  • DarrellMoseley
    DarrellMoseleyabout 6 years ago


  • tinhearts
    tinheartsabout 6 years ago

    WOW! fantastic masterpiece art work here!
    awesome it must be to really be there in all the splendor ;)

  • Jan Fijolek
    Jan Fijolekabout 6 years ago

    Another great HRD photo. Like the colours!

  • PhotosByG
    PhotosByGabout 6 years ago

    Great work Philip. You got anymore? They certainly don’t build them like they used to! Cheers.

  • crazy
    crazyabout 6 years ago

    Wow. you always have those nice pictures, lovely to use them in a chop. :-)

  • NaturesVision
    NaturesVisionabout 6 years ago

    Excellent shot and very nice HDR!!! – Ann

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezabout 6 years ago

    An unusual angle Philip and the colours make it look quite abstract. I think I would have been tempted to play around with the perspective in PS to try to straighten it out a little …

  • Well the story here is the State Theatre polices no cameras no photography so the shot was taken from the footpath looking in lol

    I took others later inside , i figured I was too big to throw out. I could have straightened it a bit but but thought I might lose some of the floor stunning old style tiling and miss some of the cieling moldings

    – Philip Johnson

  • lighting was poor and I could not use a flash, so there was some difficulty

    – Philip Johnson

  • EarthGipsy
    EarthGipsyabout 6 years ago

    Stunning work – again!

  • Marilyn Harris
    Marilyn Harrisabout 6 years ago

    Wow Philip!! Fabulous HDR!! Love the rich vibrant colours! Sure don’t build them like this anymore – It would cost a fortune! :o)

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