Fremantle Stuff > cinemas > FTI
Two views of the rear of the former FTI Cinema, the former Fremantle Boys School, in Adelaide St. When FTI was first started, by Jo and others, it was called PIFT - the Perth Institute for Film and Television. The building is now occupied by DADAA, and is being renovated at the rear. DADAA allegedly stands for Disability in the Arts Disadvantages in the Arts. Why the last A? Australia?
The outdoor screen in the Princess May Park, adjacent to FTI to the east, and, as you see, Port Cinéaste Cinema to the west. The Port Cinema has been demolished since I took the photo, just when demolition had started. The screen remained for the time being, looking very odd, but is now gone. The Circus School is now there, in a tent.
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.
P.I.F.T./F.T.I., 92 Adelaide St, Fremantle
fremantle pift 1981
Perth Institute of Film and Television was formed in April 1971 when a group of people involved in film, television, education, the arts and the professions came together at a meeting held at the University of Western Australia to develop film and television as an art, an industry and as an educational tool.
Projects were subsequently initiated in West Australian Schools and at the University of Western Australia and work began on raising finance to develop the Film Institute in the Old Boys School in Fremantle as a centre. (Gateway, Spring, 1974)
In July 1974 PIFT moved into the school on a 20-year lease from Fremantle City Council, and converted the premises into offices and a 142-seat theatrette with the £400,000 raised for the purpose.
The building also housed the Community Education Centre, until the Princess May School renovations were completed, and the Centre moved in next door. After that, the Old Boys School building was shared with the W.A. Film Makers’ Co-operative, the W.A. branch of the Australian Council for Children’s Film and Television, and Community Radio. By March 1975, regular programmes of children’s films were being offered twice a week – after school on Fridays, and on Saturday afternoon. Adult seasons were at first provided only for members of the Co-op, but in October 1975 these were opened to the general public. The building became the W.A. home of the National Film Theatre of Australia, and later still of the Australian Film Institute. But as well as these institutional activities, the cinema operated as a commercial exhibitor of specialist programmes, particularly of local Western Australian productions, and other programmes unlikely to gain exposure through the normal commercial circuits.
During 1976 the Tavern opened on the site, independent of the cinema, but providing a congenial social focus for the complex.
On 14 October, 1977, Cinema 16 opened in a section of the downstairs hall, as ‘a new venue for the screening of innovative 16mm films’ (West Australian 14 Oct.1977), the opening programme being Pure S and Red Nightmare. Cinema 16 used canvas deck-chairs, of the type popular in the open air theatres of earlier days.
In 1984, the organisation was renamed the Film and Television Institute (FTI), and they later moved their films screenings to Perth, taking over the Entertainment Centre cinemas (the old Academy Cinemas) and renaming these the Lumiere.
Sources: Daily News, 5 Mar. 1975
Gateway, Spring 1974, vol.3, no.2, n.p.
West Australian, 27 Nov. 1975, p.24; 6 Apr. 1976, p.5; 17 Dec. 1976; 9 July 1977, p.28; 2 Nov. 1978, p.28,
Photos: 1 exterior, colour, 1981 (Bill Turner)
1 interior (during renovations), b&w, Daily News 5 Mar. 1975
Garry Gillard | New: 14 November, 2014 | Now: 25 May, 2020