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Cinema Le Boulevarde, St Kilda

Venue Summary
Name Cinema Le Boulevarde, St Kilda
Address Lower Esplanade, St Kilda, Victoria 3182
Operation Dates 1915-01-01 - 1916-01-01
Capacity 5000
Suburban/Country Suburb
Purpose Cinema
Screens 1
1915-01-01 - 1916-01-01 : Exhibitor : Palais Cinema Ltd.
Venue Comments

"Palais Cinema Ltd, opened an open air theatre in the summer of 1915, known as the Cinema le Boulevarde, on the site of the old Living Picture Gardens. The new cinema seated 5,000 and was reputed to be the largest open air in Australia. ...The theatre closed early 1916 due to cold and inclement weather and also the shadow cast by World War 1." (Matthews, p. 8)

In Bertrand, I Cinema file: St. Kilda (unpublished research), this site is listed as being on the Upper Esplanade. The site was owned by Edward Branscombe who opened an al fresco amusement place on November 29, 1909. He worked with his musical costume comedy company 'the Jesters'. It was not long before the theatre was better known as the 'Arcadia'. This ran until 1912, when Branscombe opened a new 'Arcadia'-styled theatre, the 'Wickcliffe' in the former Royal Yacht Club grounds. Several companies made us of the premises throughout 1913-14 until, in 1915, it was purchased by John Dixon and Francis Malvin. Dixon and Malvin opened the 'Corso PictureTheatre'

Mr. G Steventon (who also owned Pictureland, Elite Skating Rink and Palais Cinema Ltd.) is listed as owner- 1915, 'St Kilda by the sean annual' in Bertrand, I Cinema file: St Kilda (unpublished research).

Venue: Other Information
The Living Picture Gardens was also known as Jester's Theatre and later became the Arcadia theatre which closed in 1913. In 1915 it reopened briefly as the Corso Picture Theatre which was demolished to build Cinema Le Boulevarde. (Matthews, p. 6)

Cinema & Theatre Historical Society 1997, Cinema index : Melbourne cinemas, suburban cinemas, Victorian drive-ins. CATHS, Victoria.

Matthews, C 1986, 'Early theatres of St Kilda', Kino: journal of Australian theatre historical society, No. 17, pp. 6-11.

Venue Events
Event Date Name of Venue Address Latitude /
Capacity Suburban Purpose Screens
1909-11-01 Living Picture Gardens, St Kilda Lower Esplanade
St Kilda
Victoria 3182
Suburb Cinema 1
1915-01-01 Cinema Le Boulevarde