Palais Pictures 1927-1949
Palais Pictures c1927
Out of copyright
The new theatre, designed by architect Henry E. White, opened in November 1927.
It was a picture palace on a grand scale, described in Melbourne newspapers as "the most beautiful theatre in Australasia". It had seating capacity of almost 3,000 making it the largest cinema in the country.
In July, 1929, Palais Pictures was among the first suburban cinemas in Melbourne to screen talkies. Throughout the 1930s and '40s, it was the favorite place for Melburnians to go to the movies.
The coming of television hit cinema attendance hard during the 1950s. But the Palais managed to survive by reinventing itself as a live concert venue. Artists who performed at the Palais over the next two decades included Bob Hope, Harry Belafonte, Shirley Bassey, Eartha Kitt, Johnny Mathis, Louis Armstrong, the Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Tom Jones, and memorably on the first tour of Australia, the Rolling Stones.