Fremantle Stuff > buildings > Olympia

Olympia Skating Rink/Cinema

Leake Street (off 110)


What follows is the whole entry, unedited, for this former cinema from the ammpt (Australian Museum Of Motion Picture & Television Inc.) site - not as an act of copyright theft but as a backup. Websites often disappear for various reasons.

The Olympia Roller Skating Rink on Lots 403-405 Leake St, was converted into a moving picture venue by the Star Amusement Co, and opened under the direction of C.Sudholz on 11 December 1909. The building was huge and cavernous, and in the conversion attempts were made to soften this effect:
The roof is being taken off the building in order to make the auditorium as cool as possible. Another feature is the new complete electric lighting plant which the company are installing to provide especially powerful light for their new machines. The Olympia Orchestral Band is rehearsing for the opening. (West Australian, 4 December 1909)
…the building has been structurally altered and the seating accommodation so arranged as to enable patrons to obtain a clear and uninterrupted view of the concert platform and screen. (West Australian, 15 January 1910)
The films were the same as those screened by the company at the Star Rink in Perth the previous week. Renovations further expanded the capacity of the building in March 1910, and for several years it presented films from August to the end of March, and skating for the rest of the year.In August 1913 an experiment was tried (advertised as ‘The very latest craze from London’, West Australian 2 Aug. 1913) of combining films and skating, but that does not seem to have lasted long. The advertisement for the ‘Grand Re-opening’ of Cecil’s Y.A.L.Pictures on Saturday 4 October 1913 was also the last advertisement for films in the venue. Later, the premises were used as a warehouse and offices.
During that part of the year when films were not shown at the rink, Olympia Pictures presented their programmes in the Victoria Hall.
Sources: Post Office Directory, 1913 – 1917
West Australian, 4 Dec. 1909 – 4 Oct. 1913
Photos: 1 exterior (Victoria Hall), colour, 1981 (Bill Turner)

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