Townsville Picture Theatre/Strand Pictures

Flinders-St-West-c1930-with-Open-air-Strand Theatre

Flinders Street West, Townsville

TDB Mon 25 May 1914
The management of the Townsville Pictures announce the opening of their new theatre on Thursday evening next, when an excellent programme is promised. The box plan is now open at Beale and Co.’s music warehouse, and a full house is confidently anticipated.

TDB Tues 26 May 1914
Townsville Picture Theatre.
One of the latest evidences of Townsville enterprise is the new Picture Theatre in Flinders-street West, which is now virtually completed and certainly makes a handsome audition to the architecture of the main street, of which both proprietors and contractors (Messrs Chapman and Co.) may well be proud. The front of the building is finished with Wunderlich imitation of brick and stone in the style of a castle front. The vestibule is spacious and brilliantly lighted with 50 electric lamps and finished off with a handsome Wunderlich ceiling. The ticket office is up to date and provided with a most ingenious money till, the invention of the secretary (Mr Jas. Enright). On top of the vestibule is a spacious garden roof, where refreshments will be available during the interval, and this is surmounted by an electric device in the form of an anchor, and a flag pole from which the Blue Peter will be flown on the change of programme. Later a brilliantly lighted Southern Cross will be added. Within the building a roomy stage, backed by dressing rooms is beautifully lighted and provided with a special switchboard, which will enable any colored light to be turned on for the side and foot lights. Here it may be mentioned that the danger of fire is brought to a minimum, all of the wires for the electric lights, of which there are a very large number throughout the building, being enclosed in steel tubes. The auditorium, which it is estimated will seat 1500 people, has been nicely laid out with a concrete floor, the passage ways being wide and numerous, and the comfortable-looking seats being provided with canvas seats and backs, which will be rolled up after each performance and thus kept clean and dry. The engine-room, which is at the back of the building contains a 25 h.p. Fielding and Platt special electric light engine fitted with all the latest improvements and started by compressed air, the dynamo which generates the electricity being one of the latest picture machines of 17.5 Kilowatt. The large switchboard is of the latest device and fitted with duplicating switches, enabling the power to be doubled if necessary. In the centre of the gallery stands the operating room, nicely finished in unison with the front of the building and containing a beautiful Gaumont bioscope of the latest design, of which there are only two in Australia. The machine is fitted with a special device for regulating the speed, and a switchboard is provided for turning on and altering the colors of the lights in the auditorium. The bioscope Is fitted with a patent self-closing shutter, which renders it virtually impossible for the films to catch fire. The operating box is lined with iron, is absolutely fire-proof, and as it stands on an insulated floor, not connected with any other part of the building, the machine should be as steady as if it were standing on a billiard table. This branch of the show will be under the direct supervision of the manager (Mr C. O. Randell), who is an expert In that line, and will be in a position to take his own pictures and prepare slides therefrom, for which purpose a photographers dark room is provided. On top of the operating-room a fine searchlight is erected of 5000 candle-power, which will show a light for a radius of five or six miles. It is very satisfactory to learn that the structure throughout has been completed by local labor and of local materials, while much of the best work has been done by young mechanics, most of whom are natives and have learned their trade in Townsville.

(separate article in same above paper)
The Ashman family of musicians, who have been engaged by Townsville Pictures Ltd for orchestral effect at the new picture theatre, arrived in Townsville yesterday, and are already busy rehearsing for the opening production on Thursday evening next.

TDB Thurs 28 May 1914
To-night will see the inauguration of the latest addition to the city’s entertainments in the Townsville Picture Theatre, upon which the proprietors have spared neither, trouble nor expense to bring everything up to date. An excellent programme Is billed for tonight, in which the star series will be
‘Humanity,’ featuring Mr John Lawson in a most thrilling story. As a music hall act. the play had a run of seven years In England. Other dramas to be shown are, ‘The Woman of the Mountains.’ and ‘The Bully.’ and two clever comedies in ‘Hypnotised,’ and ‘King of the Cannibals,’ while those who prefer the comic side are also well catered for, and a beautiful scenic, in ‘Malay Islands’ is also included In the programme. The incidental music will be supplied by the Ashmann Family Orchestra, comprising piano, first and second violins, cornet, and ‘cello. In all, the arrangement of the auditorium, the comfort of patrons has been carefully studied, and a full house is anticipated. Seats may be booked at Messrs Beale and Co.’s, where the box plan is filling rapidly. A flashlight photo of the audience will be taken at 9 o’clock.

1916 – STRAND PICTURES, the renamed Townsville Picture Theatre/Palace in Flinders St West opened Sat 12 Feb 1916 (TDB Sat 12 Feb 1916)

TDB Fri 11 Feb 1916
New management having acquired the commodious Townsville Picture Palace have renamed it the Strand Theatre and intend opening to-morrow night. A special well selected programme of pictures has been selected details of which will be published in to-morrow’s issue.

TDB Sat 12 Feb 1916
The well appointed and up-to-date Townsville Picture Palace at West End having been taken over by new management, Is now under style of the Strand Pictures, and re-opens this evening with a first class picture programme. A special cinematograph attraction has been secured for to-night in a picture version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s successful drama “The House of Temperley”. The scenery and surroundings are typically English, and the numerous friends of Sir Conan Doyle will find much to interest them in this picture. Supporting the great star are ‘Who Kissed Her’ a comedy; Ecla’s Journal’, topical: ‘A Crime of Thought,’ drama; and Charlie Chaplin, in ”Rounders”.

TDB Mon 14 Feb 1916
The Townsville Picture Palace, in future to be known as the Strand Pictures, threw open its doors on Saturday night after several months of inactivity. The new management had the pleasure of welcoming one of the best audiences that has ever attended this theatre. The programme proved unmistakably enjoyable, and its highly diversified nature was the subject of much favourable comments. It is the intention to show on three nights weekly, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with a complete change on each night.

TDB Mon 9 Nov 1925
At 4.3O on Sunday morning, the Fire Brigade received a call to the Strand Picture Theatre where a fire had begun in the gallery. The brigade were early on the scene and effected a timely save. The damage was slight.

TDB Mon 16 Dec 1929


To-night at the Strand, Hoyts Talkies will present ‘Mother’s Boy’ and ‘Geraldine.’ also full talkie support. Usual prices will be charged.

TDB Wed 18 Dec 1929


Hoyts’ talkies are in command to-night, and a special all-talkie programme will be featured, including ‘Lucky in Love’ and ‘Molly and Me,’ a two-part talking comedy. Box plans are at Braggs’ Cafe, West End.

Union meeting at Campbell’s Strand Stadium, Flinders Street West, Townsville,.jpg

Comments are closed.