The Forum

Rosina  Lamberti

Melbourne, Australia

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Wall Art

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Artist's Description


At the first Melbourne land auction in 1837, the site where the Forum (Old State Theatre) now stands was sold to William Rutledge of Parramatta, for £153. In 1848, the land was passed to Anthony Horden, who built a four-roomed timber house which was occupied by Robert Kerr.
Over the next ten years to 1860, the rate book for the city of Melbourne shows the occupant as being Young & Co. Buildings on the land consisted of a dilapidated iron store, coal yards and offices. In 1863, William Degraves purchased the land and erected a two-storey bond store. This remained until the turn of the century, when the building was occupied by the Herald and Standard Newspaper Company, who published the “Morning Post-Herald” from Flinders Street and, around the corner in Russell Street, there was the State Migration Office. Both premises were vacated when purchased by Stuart Doyle, Managing Director of Union Theatres, to make way for the new State Theatre.
In the early 1920’s, during a visit to America, Stuart Doyle met John Eberson who had designed a chain of “atmospheric” theatres, including the famed Riviera in Chicago. So impressed was Doyle with Eberson’s work, he commissioned Eberson to design three Australian theatres – The Capitol in Sydney, The State in Melbourne and The Ambassador in Perth. Architects Bohringer, Taylor and Johnson were appointed for the task.
Two cinema chains were competing to open first at that time: the Regent in Collins Street was being built by Francis W Thring and Hoyts Theatres, and on the corner of Flinders and Russell Streets, the State Theatre was being built by Stuart Doyle and Union Theatres. The State won the race after seven months’ construction time and opened on 23 February 1929, three weeks ahead of the Regent.

Artwork Comments

  • Phil Thomson IPA
  • kalaryder
  • solareclips~Julie  Alexander
  • cherylc1
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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