This is my place in time.
I’ve only been to the Piccadilly cinema a couple of times in my life. I went to see Rocky Horror there late one night back in 2001 with a guy I was dating (and by pure chance the guy I dated next was in the ensemble, playing Eddie). It wasn’t really a cinema that I spent much time at growing up, because in my teens we still had three cinema complexes in the city, and I recall Piccadilly being a lot more arthouse.
Despite this, it’s always held a sentimental spot in my heart, due mostly to the fact that it was outside it that I first laid eyes on the man that would eventually become my husband. Back in June 2002, I asked him to meet me outside Battery Spot, which back then inhabited the space in the arcade that would have once been the ticket office. Yet in almost 12 years together, we never quite made it along to see a movie there together. Shameful really.
The Piccadilly was an art deco cinema in the heart of Perth’s CBD, the entrance at the Hay Street Mall end of Piccadilly arcade. The cinema was built in 1938 by an architect called William T Leighton, who (according to Wikipedia) also worked on well known Perth theatres The Cygnet, The Windsor, and several others now demolished or sitting unused (such as The Plaza). As you walked up the deco stairs to the cinema foyer there was a great wall of mirrors, and a mosaic ceiling made from little oblongs of mirrored glass.
As shopping centres and cinema complexes grew in the suburbs of Perth, the cinemas in the city gradually closed, so by 2013, The Piccadilly was the last in operation within the CBD. It closed in October 2013. There’s an article about the closure here.
I’ll be the first to admit that the photos below, are not some of my best. I was in town with my camera, but without a tripod or speedlight flash, so was ill prepared for interior photography. However, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to document this lovely building before it closed for good. I had emailed the administration team asking for permission to access the building and they welcomed me along, but alas I didn’t receive a reply before taking these images and my schedule didn’t allow me to make it back into town before it shut. Truly one of those ‘if only’ moments. I feel quite confident though that there are better photographs out there by other opportunistic photographers.
The Piccadilly is currently closed and I’m not sure if it will ever again reopen as a cinema, however it did reopen briefly in early 2014, temporarily rebranded as Noodle Palace, a venue for Fringe Festival shows.
#41 – What’s showing at the movies.
All photos taken on 29th September 2013.
These photographs were taken as part of the “My place in time” challenge. You can find out more about the challenge here.