Friday, April 4, 2008

Piccadilly Theatre, North Adelaide

Piccadilly Theatre, North AdelaideI found a few Art Deco cinemas in Adelaide but I think the Piccadilly in O’Connell Street, North Adelaide was my favourite.

The Piccadilly Theatre was built in 1940 to designs from Adelaide architects Evans, Bruer and Hall with Guy Crick and Bruce Furse from Sydney. Except for the circular tower above the main entrance, the cinema is not that spectacular on the outside. The main decoration coming from the large fin bearing the cinema’s name and the chevron shaped windows progressing around the tower.

Piccadilly Theatre, North AdelaideCome inside and see what those same chevron windows do when a bit of sunlight comes through. The light is magical bringing the upper foyer to life. There are several other circular or semi-circular windows that are very nice as well as simple wall lights and elaborate spiral banister rails which add to the charm.

I’m not sure how many cinemas have been placed into the Piccadilly but it is nice to see these older cinemas like the Sun Theatre in Yarraville still being used and allowing people to celebrate going to the picture in a lovely building rather than the style-less mall multiplexes which could be anywhere … Los Angeles, Glasgow, Geelong, Chadstone … everywhere the same generic design.

Anyway that’s enough venting. If you have a nice old cinema in your neighbourhood make the effort to go there rather than driving down to the shopping centre or mall. Bestow your patronage on the things that make your town unique. It’s the best way for them to survive and thrive. Then when other places have lost all their charms, people will travel to see what you have preserved.


  1. My first cinematic memory was going to see a picture here in the 1980s, and I went again today to see a 3D flick. How times change. I hope Piccadilly is around to see the next 70 years of change. Fabulous building - I wonder whether the carpet is of the original design.

  2. Thanks for sharing you memories of this incredible cinema. It would be lovely to think people could still be enjoying it in 70 years from now.

  3. I went there as a small boy in the 40's on most Saturday afternoons.