254 - 258 Murray Street,
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Previously operated by: West's Ltd.
Previous Names: Melrose Open Air Gardens
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The Melrose Open-Air Gardens(Perth) was built by Thomas Coombe and opened on 11th February 1911 in a partnership with T.J. West. It was a grand affair officiated on opening night by the Premier of Western Australia, Mr. Frank Wilson. Smoking was permitted in all parts of the gardens which had a seating capacity of 2,000 people. Despite its popularity, and within a year the gardens had been razed and a hardtop theatre was built on the site.
This was known as the Melrose Theatre which opened on 23rd December 1911. The theatre was practically semi-open air, having large louver frames set into the side walls which could be removed on warm summer nights, while seating was set up for 2,000 people. The front part of the building stood four storeys high, and one of the floors was turned into a wintergarden. In 1922 the Melrose Theatre was extensively refurbished and it reopened as the Prince of Wales Theatre (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures).
Note: In 1913 Thomas Coombe became a partner and local managing directore of Union Theatres and in 1928 he financed the building of the Ambassadors Theatre in Hay Street, Perth.
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