Regal Theatre

Author

City of Subiaco

Place Number

02454

Location

474 Hay St Subiaco

Location Details

cnr Rokeby Rd & Hay St

Other Name(s)

Coliseum

Local Government

Subiaco

Region

Metropolitan

Construction Date

Constructed from 1936

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 29 Nov 2009
State Register Permanent 28 Feb 1995 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Classified by the National Trust Classified 05 Jun 1990
Register of the National Estate Registered 30 Jun 1992
Survey of 20th Ctry Architecture Completed 01 Mar 1988
Art Deco Significant Bldg Survey Classified
Municipal Inventory Adopted 24 Sep 2002 Exceptional Significance (Level 1)

Statement of Significance

Refer to HCWA's Assessment Documentation of Places for Entry in the Register of Heritage Places.

Physical Description

Three storey cinema, enhanced by a rounded facade which addresses the corner and establishes a relationship with the Subiaco Hotel diagonally opposite. The two-tiered, half cylindrical tower is accented with ribbed vertical bands, which emphasise the verticality of the stepped banner. The symmetrical design is silhouetted against the skyline. The interior is modern and simple with geometric Art Deco graphic and chromic trims, relying on boldness and mass for effect. There is a linear fountain design and letter 'R' accentuating the front doors. For more detail refer to HCWA's Assessment Documentation of Places for Entry in the Register of Heritage Places & AHC documentation.

History

Previously Coliseum Picture Gardens c1925, the Regal Theatre was built in its place in 1936 as a hardtop cinema for Ted and Mary Coade. They previously owned West's Picture Show. On the opposite side of Rokeby Road, the Regal Picture Gardens were constructed, and together they provided summer and winter entertainment to the public. The Regal was built to show movies with sound, as the 1930s sound revolution in film renewed interest in cinema-going and resulted in a boom in the entertainment industry in the interwar period. The cinemas of the 1930s were built in sleek, modern designs to reflect the modernity and sophistication of the new age. The Regal's position in the streetscape and town of Subicao and its relationship to the Subiaco Hotel diagonally opposite, relects the confidence in the growth of Perth and the State as a whole. Regal Theatre was named after King George VI who had recently ascended the throne. The design is attributed to William G Bennett, (Plaza Theatre) with later modifications by William T Leighton (Picadilly Theatre & Arcade, Como Theatre, Astor Theatre). The Regal opened on 27 April 1938. In 1946 it was sold to Clarence (Paddy) Baker, whose name is commemorated in the Trust which now owns the theatre. Paddy Baker was a colourful and State-wide known picture showman. In 1977 the Regal was converted into a place for live performance. In 1986 Paddy Baker died, leaving the Regal to the people of WA. The Regal Theatre is a fine and rare example of an intact interwar cinema in WA. For more detail refer to HCWA's Assessment Documentation of Places for Entry in the Register of Heritage Places. (Ref: AHC documentation; Subiaco Post 19.9.79) Subiaco began to develop as a residential and commercial area in the 1890s, with the first buildings being established along the railway line. In 1895 Rokeby Road was not yet gazetted and Hay Street was called Broome Road. By the turn of the century most of the main roads in central Subiaco were built, including Rokeby, Heytsebury, Hamersley, Bagot, Townshend, Park and Nicholson Roads. Many businesses had been established in Broome Road. Broome Road was named after Governor Broome, and was renamed Hay Street after Vice-Secretary of Colonies, 1829. There were many land releases in the late 1890s and early 1900s as Subiaco become a popular place to settle, and businesses were attracted to the opportunity of opening in a new but stable suburb. The Rokeby Road and Hay Street commercial area was firmly established by 1915. Over the years the nature of businesses have changed. Originally there were estate agents, dressmakers, tailors, confectioners, drapers, grocers, restaurateurs and bakers; in fact most shopping could be done without leaving the suburb. (Sources: Wise's Post Office Directory 1893-1915; Real Estate Maps, Battye Library Collection; Spillman, Ken, Identity Prized: A History of Subiaco, City of Subiaco, UWA Press, 1985, pp. 92-110; Chate, A. H., History of Subiaco, c1952.)

Condition

Refurbished in 1995 under the direction of Architects Donaldson, Smith & Hooke.

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
Donaldson, Smith & Hooke, 1995 refurbishment Architect - -

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
6986 Regal Theatre Subiaco, WA : Stage 2 refurbishment conservation works for Baker Theatre Trust. (final report) Conservation works report 2004
11459 Picture Palaces of the Golden West Book 2016
5945 Regal Theatre : urgent and essential works. C D Rom 2001
6559 Regal Theatre Subiaco, Heritage Program Refurbishment, Facade and Canopy : structural report. Heritage Study {Other} 2001
7404 Regal Theatre, Subiaco : stage 3 conservation works. Conservation works report 2005
4993 Regal Theatre, Subiaco: conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2001
6521 Regal Theatre Subiaco : Stage 2 refurbishment works (Part A). Mechanical Services Specification : upgrade existing air-conditioning (Part B). Heritage Study {Other} 2003
7688 Regal theatre, Subiaco: final report - stage 3 conservation works. Conservation works report 2006
6379 High hopes. Book 2003
5672 Regal Theatre Subiaco : urgent reconstruction works to original canopy. Conservation works report 2002
5137 Regal Theatre urgent external works / Hocking Planning and Architecture in association with Maitland Consulting Structural Engineering. Heritage Study {Other} 2001
9224 Regal Theatre, Subiaco. Proposed unisex disabled toilet feasibilty study: Addendum issue. Heritage Study {Other} 2009

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use SOCIAL\RECREATIONAL Theatre or Cinema
Present Use SOCIAL\RECREATIONAL Theatre or Cinema

Architectural Styles

Style
Inter-War Art Deco

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Rendered Brick
Wall RENDER Smooth

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Sport, recreation & entertainment

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

31 Dec 2016

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.