Stanley Theatre/Stanley Pictures/Tivoli Pictures/Olympia Theatre/Minna’s Theatre/Palm Court Theatre


Stanley Theatre c1930. The theatre was located on the corner of Stanley and Sturt Streets.

Stanley Theatre c1930. The theatre (bottom left) was located on the corner of Stanley and Sturt Streets.

1910 – STANLEY STADIUM behind Lowth’s Hotel in Stanley St. in Townsville mentioned in Cairns Post Sat 22 Oct 1910.
1912 – OLYMPIA THEATRE opened in the leased Stanley Stadium by Birch & Carroll (running on Mon 8 Jan 1912 according to TDB)

TDB Sat 16 Nov 1912
To-night the Stanley Pictures Ltd., will submit their first programme under the new management in their Stadium at the rear of Lowth’s Hotel, and an attractive one it is. “Love is Stronger than Gold”, is acknowledged to be full of strong dramatic situations and splendidly acted. ‘The Mystery of Room 29,’ is one of those fascinating detective subjects that rivets the attention of an audience throughout. The comics include ‘Uninvited Guests,’ ‘His Own Fault,’ ‘Lea as Lulu Girl,’ ‘Tontolini’s Luck.’ ‘Gaumont’s News of the World,’ will be found as full of general interest as ever, and ‘The Highways and Byways of England,’ will depict various phases of English life. Miss Tessie Phelan is down for several illustrated songs.

1912 – STANLEY PICTURES Advertised in TDB Sat 23 Nov 1912. (Olympia Theatre moved to its permanent site at the previously named Lyceum Pictures)
1915 – TIVOLI PICTURES, the renamed Stanley Pictures opened Sat 31 July 1915 (TDB Fri 30 Jul 1915)

TDB Fri 30 Jul 1915
That there is much in a name is recognised by the management of the Stanley Stadium, who, to symbolise the initiation of vaudeville items Into their programme, have decided to re-christen, tomorrow night their popular resort, adopting the name of the ‘Tivoli’. That has been suggested by the fact that the Tivoli in Sydney ranks pre-eminent as the centre of vaudeville In Australia, and that an affiliation has been entered into, by the management of the Stanley and Mr Hugh D. Mclntosh, governing director Harry Rickards’ Tivoli Theatre Ltd, whereby the cream of Tivoli artists will In future be featured on the boards of the Townsville namesake. To meet requirements the local management have effected a number of improvements which should meet with the approval of their numerous patrons. The seating accommodation is to be rearranged, and some fine new scenery introduced, the handiwork of that capable artist, Mr Coulter. The initial programme under the new title will be presented to-morrow night and is equal to the occasion. The vaudeville turn will introduce Murfayne, the most accomplished xylophone exponent now touring the world. During his seasons in Sydney and Melbourne he made a sensational hit, and can be rated on to provide a musical treat. His instrument is the largest used, having a range of 54 notes, and the tone is remarkably fine. The picture section of the programme is centred round the production of Rex Beach’s thrilling story in seven reels, ‘The Spoilers.’ It not only presents a realistic outline of rugged Alaskan life, but has drawn the following eulogistic comment from the author (Mr. Rex Beach). The author may feel proud and plume himself when he has succeeded in writing a successful book in 100,000 or 125,000 words, but when he sees the pith and marrow of it, including the characters, atmosphere and story, visualised in moving Pictures, in which only 200 or 300 words are used tor sub-titles, he cannot but feel the great superiority of moving pictures over the written word. The box plan is now open at Beale’s music warehouse for patrons wishing to reserve seats.

1916 – Tivoli Pictures became STANLEY PICTURES again on Thurs 4 May 1916 (advert in TDB Mon 1 May 1916)
1925 – Stanley Theatre managerial note: Mr. Hans Neelsson is relinquishing the proprietorship of the Stanley Theatre (TDB Sat 27 Jun 1925)
1925 – MINNA’S THEATRE, (previously Stanley Theatre) opening Sat 4 Jul 1925 (TDB Sat 27 Jun 1925)
1927 – Attention is drawn to a sale by tender of Minna’s Stanley and Hermit Park Theatres, closing the 19th Nov 1927 (TDB Mon 14 Nov 1927)
1927 – PALM COURT THEATRE, previously Minna’s Stanley Theatre, reopened Sat 17 Dec 1927 (TDB Mon 12 Dec 1927)
A superb programme of vaudeville and revue will be presented to-night at the newly renovated “Palm Court” Theatre. Every detail has been attended to make a big success of the enterprise. Special lighting effects and new fittings for the stage have been installed. The accommodation and comfort of patrons is also being seen to in every respect. The manager, Mr Dick Ryder, has left no stone unturned so patrons are assured of receiving every attendance and courtesy. A brilliant company of Continental and Australian artists have been engaged. Laughter, singing, dancing, and harmony will reign supreme. New settings and beautiful costumes will please the eye. The company to appear are headed by Graham and Watty, The K’nut of the army and the K’nib of the Navy, who come direct from the Tivoli Theatre, Sydney. Dot Browne is well known to Townsvilleites, she has a Lyric soprano voice of magnificent range. Hal Herne has a fine tenor voice, is a clever whistler, and an excellent pianist, he has just finished a season at the Prince Edward Theatre, Sydney. Stan Cartnell is an English comedian of note. Since his arrival in this country he has played both the Tivoli Theatre and Sir Ren and John Fuller circuits. Marie Will Godwin is the American character comedienne who came out here to the Tivoli Theatres, and has just finished with that firm. Payllis Craig is a vivacious soubrette, and dancer and has recently finished a long and successful season at the Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane, where she was a great favourite. La Belle is a brilliant specialty dancer. She was the originator of the Persian Jewel Dance. She appeared first in the dance at the Grand Opera House, Java, later coming to Australia, she has danced at all the leading metropolitan theatres. Laurie Dare is a versatile performer who should become popular in Townsville. An excellent ballet has been engaged from Sydney. The musical portion of the programme is in the hands of Ray Dudley and the Palm Court Orchestra. A bright, breezy and clean entertainment is promised. The box plans are rapidly filling at the City News Agency, Phone 1385 and will be on view there until 1 o’clock, afterwards seats may be reserved at the Palm Court Theatre phone 65.

TDB Fri 24 Aug 1928
The Ziska’s Company of Comedians and musical artists will commence their three night season In the Palm Court to-night. The repertoire will consist of the following Items: Ziska will open with his magical act of Indian tricks, illusions and Yogi magic. Dorothy Carden in a series of child impersonations. Fred Carden will entertain with his xylophonist solos,— ‘William Tell’ and ‘Poet and Peasant’ Zanoni the notable violinist, will play ‘S.Hei.iH-,’ ‘Scene de Ballet.” the Intermezzo’ and ‘Mazurka de Concert.’ Pearl Helmrich in Dame Pantomime. The Famous Four’ Jazz Maniacs and crazy instrumentalists in the funniest burlesque on jazz ever enacted. Gwen Kayes in her charming songs of to-day, and Madame Chaldeane, the mystic, in a weird act in second sight. Seats for the season may be booked at Vic. Foley’s Music Store.

TDB Sat 27 Oct 1928
H. De Vere Stacpoole’s much discussed book, ‘The Blue Lagoon.’ has at last been made into a picture which will be shown at the Palm Court Theatre for three nights only. The book has been closely followed in the screen representation and the result is a most entertaining picture. From a scenic point of view the picture has probably never been excelled, photographed as it was on the silver beaches beside the palm fringed lagoons, and at dawn on the beautiful Isle of the South Seas. The story will prove interesting to those who have not already read it. A shipwreck occurs and a very young boy and girl are saved by an old sailor, who succeeds in reaching an uninhabited island with the children. The old sailor dies and the children are left without the guiding hand of an adult person. For many years they live on the island, growing from tender childhood to the age of maturity, with only nature as their companion. With the awakening of love comes realisation. A child, a boy Is born, and so ignorant are they of the requirements of the civilised world, from which they have so long been separated, that they give their child the name of Hannah after their old nurse. It mattered not to them that “Hannah” was the name of a girl. The picture has been produced on a most lavish scale, and the story has been handled in a delightfully delicate manner. The usual price will be charged, and seats may now be reserved at Vic Foley’s music warehouse. The picture will be preceeded by an atmospheric prologue by the Hawaiian Troubadours supported by the Fisk Jubilee Singers.


Stanley Theatre demolition site c1936, on the corner of Sturt and Stanley Streets, Townsville. Lowths original hotel stands behind the demolition site.

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