Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Chauvel - Memories of early Australian cinema


It may surprise you, but I am not a 'multi-plex' sort of gal. No siree! I am an independent cinema consumer - an 'indie'. I don't do horror, nor sci-fi, nor budget-busters. Nor anything that relies on running and slamming of doors to convey either narrative or character.

There are two cinemas within walking distance, the Verona and the Chauvel. Both are on Oxford Street in Paddington and are operated by the Palace Cinema group. I feel blessed. They both show the best of world cinema from the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Americas. At the moment they are showing the Spanish Film Festival.


Charles & Elsa Chauvel were pioneering Australian film-makers from the 30s through to the end of the 50s when Charles died of heart failure. They were reknown in this country for films like 'Forty Thousand Horsemen', 'Rats of Tobruk', and 'Jedda' with this last, based on aboriginal displacement, being their main legacy.

The Chauvel Cinema has two screens and is housed in part of the Paddington Town Hall sharing office space with the Australian Film Institute (AFI).

16 comments:

Luis Gomez said...

I used to go to the Verona a lot. Love seeing these images of the Chauvel.

Alan O'Riordan said...

There's a Palace Cinema 5 minutes walk from us here. It's very different from the Village Cinema 2 minutes walk away. I'll admit, we use both! I love European film, particularly some of the contemporary stuff from the likes of Almodovar. Watched Goodbye Lenin just a few nights ago too.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I totally agree with you Julie, we have Cinema Paradiso, the Luna and the Astra, all fantastic little 50 seat theatres that play the best of foreign movies. There is a much more intimate feeling about them.
Best wishes
Grace

Kay L. Davies said...

No, Julie, it doesn't surprise me to find out you're not a multi-plex kinda person. LOL
Beautiful photos.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

brattcat said...

How pleasurable it would be to spend an afternoon watching a matinee with you and then having a cup of tea and a sweet, sitting around discussing our thoughts about what we'd just seen.

Andrew said...

Life would be poorer without Palace Cinemas. I am too afraid to check who or what owns the company.

lizziviggi said...

How nice to have both so close to you! We're lucky, in our relatively small town, to have a wonderful independent theater that shows all the documentaries, indies, and foreign films we'd never see in a big theater. Luckily there are enough locals who prefer character over explosions to have allowed the independent theater to remodel and expand to three screens.

I've answered your globophobia query back on my blog... I feel so silly, but it can't be helped! Well, not without lots of therapy anyway.

J Bar said...

Paddington Town Hall is a magnificent building. Regarding the chaotic intersection at Redfern. While researching the church I discovered that there once was a large square there called St Paul's Square. That was before the railway line and main roads cut into it.

Ann said...

Do you have any idea how much I envy you, living up there. Can't remember the last time I went to the cinema. Not normally into blockbusters.

uncertainhorizon said...

So you like horror? Does that include books as well? There is a author here in mississippi you might like, and I'm not just saying that because I know him personally!

http://www.traumatizedsouls.com/

Joe said...

I also prefer the independent cinemas and sat well clear of the multiplexes. We are spoilt with two Palace cinemas a short drive away; one shows mainstream and the other art house.

Rae Walter said...

In Perth it's the Luna for me in Oxford Street Leederville, so understand your desire for 'indie' movies. Seeing your photos, makes me think that I probably went past here when coming back by bus from Watson's Bay along Oxford Street to Surrey Hills.

JM said...

I'm a big movie consumer, but I'm all for independent ones. My two favourite directors are brazilian and mexican, but I'm with as to Europe and Middle East cinema.

Julie said...

I love Almodovar too, and anything european entices me in, even if I do no entirely understand it.

Rae, this is definitely the route you would have taken from WATSONS Bay to Surry Hills.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I'm not at all sophisticated as a cinema goer. When I lived in the city I used to go to the Reading cinema at the bottom of our building at least once a week. But these days once or twice a year to a blockbuster is about my limit.

Chrissy Brand said...

What lovely old buildings- and great to see indeopendent cineman thriving in your city.

Our main indie cinema- the Cornerhouse- is also on an Oxford St- well, where Oxford St confusingly meets Oxford Rd.

Chrissy