Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Depletion Of The Ozone.

There’s been a lot of talk lately of heritage building preservation, in particular the Ozone cinema (later Wallis) in Glenelg which is an Art Deco building likely to be demolished. The building, built in 1937, is a one-off in design and materials used and it reminds me of a giant radio.

The Theatre in the 1930's.

It amazes me that buildings like this can still be pulled down given the style was so unique and not dominant for very long. This was one of my preferred cinemas because it still had it’s main theatre with a large screen so you could see films the way they should be seen at the cinema.

Circa 1960.

It was also one of the few left in a pleasant, easily accessible location, Glenelg being a seaside suburb. Most of the options available now are multiplexes on the top floor of major shopping centres with some theatres no bigger than some people’s lounge rooms. Their simplicity only makes me more aware of the annoying aspects of movie going, such as the guy with the noisy packet of crisps, the phone that goes off, the two girls behind me chatting through the whole picture and the ear-piercing loudness of the speakers.

As operated by Wallis until 2009.

With ticket prices close to $20 I’d hope to get an experience greater than what I can get at home. At least there are a few preserved old theatres where you can still feel like your at a special event as you climb the staircase and take a seat beneath an ornately decorated ceiling. One such theatre I enjoy, the Capri, offers an experience I can only describe as magic and the ticket price is less than others. They even do nostalgia nights complete with newsreels, cartoons and vintage advertising. Going to the cinema today is no longer the experience it once was. I’ve heard many girls say that going to the movies for a first date is boring and predictable. It’s not exciting enough. Apart from the few old theatres remaining where it is being preserved, the romance of the cinema is fading fast.

Movie ticket from 1964. The ticket stubs at the top of post were found in a periodical from 1960 as bookmarks. The dates line up for 1956 or 1962 and given where they were found they're likely from 1962.

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