Dungog’s palace of dreams set for a makeover

An artists impression of the new look James Theatre after its soon-to-have colour facelift.Have you ever wondered why James Stuart chose to build a cinema in the Spanish mission style in Dungog in 1930?
苏州美甲培训学校

Even today the building stands out from everything around it.

There has been nothing remotely like it built in Dungog either before or since.

As explained by Ross Thorne in his books on Australian cinema, movies came to Australia in a big way in the 1920s and 30s, at a time when the world was in deep depression and life was hard.

The cinema became the people’s escape from their harsh living conditions.

People didn’t just go for the movies, but for the whole experience: for the red carpet, the lounges, the decoration, the uniformed attendants, the whole air of grandeur and richness.

The cinema was regarded as “the palace of dreams” of the common people and the most successful cinemas were those which created the most magical dreams.

Enter James Stuart, or Mr James, as he was known, a man of vision and foresight, who understood the power of the cinematic dream.

He created a cinema more reminiscent of a fairy tale structure than a real building and so the James Theatre, as it was soon known, became an architectural centrepiece and the social hub of the town.

Thanks to the provision of $15,000 courtesy of the State government and local member and Minister of the Arts, George Souris MP, the facade of the James is about to be repainted to restore it as far as practicable to its original glory.

Lisa Connors from the Friends of the James Theatre said in the Spanish mission tradition the facade will be painted a gleaming white with terracotta trim, the two basic Spanish mission colours, with a touch of bright blue trim, reminiscent of the Mediterranean where the style originated.

“A lot of work has been done by many people to get the colours right and the Friends acknowledge in particular the wonderful assistance they have received from graphic designer Brian Doherty of Tabbil Forest Design of Gresford, in making sure that the colours chosen truly reflect the Spanish mission style.

“Our very own palace of dreams is about to get a wonderful facelift.”

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