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Capitol Theatre

10 William Street, 1929, designed by George Temple-Poole

The Capitol Theatre was near the bottom of William Street. Between it and the Esplanade was Temple Court, the most significant part of which, for my family, was that the Embassy Ballroom was on an upper storey. I had a season ticket for a couple of years for the WA Symphony Orchestra concerts at the Capitol, while my mother and father attended many a dance or ball at the Embassy. I think I was too young for those events, but I'm sure I saw the inside of the ballroom when my mother was helping to prepare it for an event. As I recall, the ballroom was surrounded by 'loges', which could be reserved for groups to sit together between dances. Photograph c. 1930 courtesy of SLWA.

Wikipedia: Embassy Ballroom was a dance hall on the corner of William Street and The Esplanade in Perth, Western Australia between 1928 and 1982.
When established in 1928 it was across the road from White City and next door to the Capitol Theatre. It was opened originally as the Temple Court Cabaret and Tea Rooms. The name Temple Court continued after the name change, the building being known as Temple Court, and the ballroom being known as the Embassy. The floor was 12,000 square feet of jarrah timber. The building was affected by fire in 1933 but was repaired and re-opened the following year. The Embassy had, at stages of its operation, its own cabaret events, with orchestra and dancers, called the "Temple court ballet", as well as a band. In the 1930s, most large department stores in Perth had staff balls at the Embassy. It was a well used venue during and after the Second World War. It continued to be a venue for a range of events well into the 1950s. It was closed 26 November 1982 and demolished soon after.
Photo from New Year's Eve 1930.

For me, the two venues did not exactly embody the sacred and the profane, but they certainly did represent two completely different kinds of music, both of which were important to my family: 'classical music', and 'jazz'. My father played bass in dance bands, but we all also listened to Ludwig van Beethoven etc.

References and Links

Wikpedia page for the Capitol Theatre.

Wikipedia page for Embassy Ballroom.


Garry Gillard | New: 16 May, 2016 | Now: 9 January, 2021