Open Air Cinema in Edwardian St Kilda

In the early days of cinema, some venues were open air summer affairs, and there were a number in St Kilda. The #ParadisePictures were created in the (large) front garden of a mansion on the southeast corner of Alfred Square (where the St Moritz was later built) in 1906, and lasted to WW1 (didn’t help that the summer of 1913/14 was unusually cold and wet). There was another on the opposite side of the square, and a third in the side garden of the Royal Hotel, and there was a kind of arena for ‘English Pierrots’ in the Catani Gardens, and the first versions of the Palais, Palais de Danse and Luna Park, and a bunch of other amusements. The whole area was ‘a Mecca for the Merrymaker’.

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