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Temperance Hall / Imperial / Savoy / Total Theatre, Melbourne

Venue Summary
Name Temperance Hall / Imperial / Savoy / Total Theatre, Melbourne
Address 170 Russell Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Operation Dates 1850-01-01 - 1979-03-31
Capacity 250
Suburban/Country City
Purpose Cinema
Screens 1
Roles
1946-01-01 - 1963-06-15 : Exhibitor : Dawson, Peter & Selleck, Frank
1972-01-29 - 1973-09-27 : Exhibitor : Dawson, Peter & Selleck, Frank
Venue Comments

The Russell Street site, orginally the Temperance Hall of Melbourne dates back to the 1850's and in 1934 became the Imperial Theatre operated by Sir Bejamin Fuller.The Imperial became the Savoy in 1939. In the 50's the Savoy turned to foreign language films which built its reputation as a foreign language film theatre. Closing in 1963, the Savoy was demolished and the area became a large carpark with the 'Lido nightclub' in the basement. The Lido opened in 1965 and was a Theatre-Restaurant. The Lido was then tranformed into the Total, screening both 16mm and 35mm. Greek clientele. Closed 31 March 1979.

Film Weekly records the following changes in capacity:
1946/47-1948/49 = 800
1949/50-1953/54 = 756
1954/55-1955/56 = 759
1956/57-1957/78 = 734
1958/59 -1962/63 = 715

Venue Operation Dates: Further Information
Note: Boccaccio 70 screening for 1964-09-08 is out of the Operation Dates range.

Venue: Other Information
The opening of the New Savoy Theatre as referenced in The Argus:
"Work began yesterday on the reconstruction of the Imperial Theatre, Russell Street. As the new Savoy Theatre it will be opened by the Vice-Consul for France (M. F. Puaux) on May 31 with a screening of "La Kermesse Heroique" ("The Heroic Kiss"), a French film comedy."

Listed in the 1979 Yellow Pages- Total Theatre, 180 Russell Street.

References
'City theatre a "fire trap"', The Sun, (6 October 1954, p. 9) states the cinema declared an extreme fire danger.

Auction catalogue for theatre items being sold (Bertarnd I, "Cinema file: 129-133 Russell St." Unpublished research).

Film Weekly, Film Weekly: motion picture directory, Film Weekly, Sydney. 1946/7-1962/3 refers to Exhibitor as Peter Dawson & Frank Selleck.

Film Weekly (10 September 1934. p. 37) Fuller has taken over the Imperial Theatre (late Temperence Hall)

Film Weekly (13 June 1963) references the closure of the Savoy on June 15 1963.

'Last Night', The Sun (15 June 1963, p.12) states that the Savoy Theater showed its last film on 15 June, 1963

Mc Kenzie, J 1979, 'Along film row', Australasian Cinema, 13 April, p. 25

"New Savoy Theatre" The Argus, 23 May 1939, p. 15.

Paton, A 1963, 'A view from Russell Street', "The Showman", 15/6, p.3.

Thorne, R 1981, 'Cinemas of Australia via USA', pp.185-186.

Walters, T 2009, The picture palaces of Melbourne, p. 199

Venue Events
Event Date Name of Venue Address Latitude /
Longitude
Capacity Suburban Purpose Screens
1850-01-01 Temperence Hall 172 Russell Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
-37.8120592
144.9678375
City Hall
1934-01-01 Imperial Theatre



1939-05-31 Savoy



800 Cinema 1
1950-01-01



756
1957-01-01



734
1959-01-01



715
1975-01-01 Total 170 Russell Street



250

Screenings

Screenings
Films Distributor Dates
Kermesse Heroique, La 1939-05-31 - 1939-05-31
Koritsi Me Ta Mavra, To Kingsley-International Pictures 1958-03-20 - 1958-03-20
Stella 1959-01-21 - 1959-01-21
Telefteo Psema, To Curzon Film Distributors 1959-10-28 - 1959-11-11
Auferstehung Bavaria-Filmkunst Verleih
Omnia Deutsche Film Export
Rizzoli
Cinédis
1960-01-29 - 1960-02-10
Generale Della Rovere, Il Continental Distributing 1960-08-12 - 1960-08-12
Europa Di Notte Cinédis 1961-02-14 - 1961-02-14
Primavera a Budapest 1961-02-14 - 1961-02-14
Dolce Vita, La Cineriz 1961-07-14 - 1961-08-04
Ciociara, La Embassy Pictures Corporation
Titanus Distribuzione
1962-01-05 - 1962-02-06
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