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State / Forum / Forum 1 & 2, Melbourne

Venue Summary
Name State / Forum / Forum 1 & 2, Melbourne
Address 154 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Operation Dates 1929-02-23 - 1986-01-01
Capacity 1500
Suburban/Country City
Purpose Cinema
Screens 2
Roles
1929-02-23 - 1962-03-08 : Exhibitor : Greater Union Organisation Pty Ltd
1963-12-20 - 1986-01-01 : Exhibitor : Greater Union Organisation Pty Ltd
Venue Comments

The State Theatre opened February 23, 1929. It was built on the corner of Flinders and Russell Street. It was opened and operated by Union Theatres (the forerunner of the Greater Union Organisation) in direct competition to the Regent Theatre, the flagship of the "Regent" cinema chain. It had the largest capacity of any cinema in the country with 3371 seats (the Regent had 3265).

In March 1955, the State screened its first Cinema scope film, Sign of the Pagan.
On March 01, 1962 the State Theatre closed.

The State Theatre was renamed the Forum in 1962 when the balcony was subdivided off to form a second cinema. The stalls area became the Forum Theatre opening on April 21, 1962 with the Flower Drum Song. The upstairs became the Rapallo Theatre, Melbourne. The Rapallo opened on December 20, 1963.

Film Weekly recorded the seating capacity for the Forum as 940 (1963-4) 944 (1965-1971)
In 1981 renovations took place, dividing the complex into Forum 1 and Forum 2. Greater Union renamed the Rapallo Theatre, Melbourne the Forum 2 and shut down its Russell St entrance.

In 1985 it was purchased and used by the Revival Centres International, a Christian organisation and fell into disrepair. In 1995 it was purchased by Staged Developments Australia, who redeveloped it for use as a film and concert venue.

Film Weekly records the following changes in capacity:

1946/7 = 3391
1948/9 = 3375
1949/50 = 3427
1952/3 = 3371
1956/7 = 3427
1958/9 = 3403
1962/3 = 940
1964/5 = 944

Opened: 23/2/1929
Architects: Bohringer, Taylor and Johnson
Builders: James Porter and Sons (Thorne, 1981)

References
Argus 'The pictures- State theatre opened' February 25, 1929

Film Weekly (6 February 1964, p.5) describes the newly renovated cinema, pictures included.

Film Weekly. Film Weekly: Motion Picture Directory. Sydney. 1946/7-1961/2)

Catrice, D 1994, 'Former State theatre interior registered', 'Trust News', 23:3, December, p.19
.
Kaye, P 1963, 'Colossal (rest of title unknown)', The Sun, 14 December, p. 22.
-describes the new trend in picture theaters of creating luxury cinemas.

Hurley, M, 'Eccentric old dame of theatre ready to return to centre stage', "The Age", December 12 1994.

Mangan, J, 'Forum returns to its Old State', "The Age", 7/9/95

Menagh, C, 'Revival at the Forum with a show of faith', "The Age", 20/10/86

Shmith, M, 'Seraglio falls to that ol' time religion', "The Age", 25/6/86

Stevens, J.A.V. , 'Color in "Flower Drum Song', The Sun, 21 April, 1962, p.17.

Thorne, R 1981, 'Cinemas of Australia via USA', pp.328-339.

The Sun 'Top Cinemas: Live Shows?', 27 August 1959, p.3.

The Sun 'New cinema next month', 27 November 1963, p.19.

'Two elaborate theatres'. The Argus. 9 February 1929, p. 17.
- State Theatre in Flinders Street and the Regent in Collins Street nearing completion

Walters, T 2009, The Picture Palaces of Melbourne. pp. 69-126.

Venue Events
Event Date Name of Venue Address Latitude /
Longitude
Capacity Suburban Purpose Screens
1929-02-23 State 154 Flinders Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
-37.816627
144.969576
3371 City Cinema 1
1950-01-01



3427
1962-04-21 Forum



940
1981-01-01 Forum 1-2



1500 2
2013-07-07



Screenings

Screenings
Films Distributor Dates
Shanghai Madness Fox Film Corporation 1934-01-24 - 1934-01-24
Chief, The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-01-24 - 1934-01-24
Shanghai Madness Fox Film Corporation 1934-01-25 - 1934-01-25
Chief, The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-01-25 - 1934-01-25
Shanghai Madness Fox Film Corporation 1934-01-26 - 1934-01-26
Chief, The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-01-26 - 1934-01-26
Shanghai Madness Fox Film Corporation 1934-01-27 - 1934-01-27
Chief, The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-01-27 - 1934-01-27
Shanghai Madness Fox Film Corporation 1934-01-28 - 1934-01-28
Chief, The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-01-28 - 1934-01-28
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