Wednesday, October 20, 2010
It was built in 1931 René Charbonneau as the main architect working with designers Emmanuel Briffa on the interior and Joseph Guardo on the exterior.
The central section of the facade features an arched form flanked by stone figures and including long-necked waterbirds, stylised floral decoration and a horizontal band with a wave motif.
There is minimal decoration on the side of the building but it does include reliefs of Comedy and Tragedy masks representative motifs of the performing arts.the Empress Theatre, and influenced the design of these windows. The window on the left could show a rising sun against a seascape but the other window, to my mind, is a setting sun against the Giza pyramids. Egyptians considered the west, where the sun sets, as the realm of the dead and sited their pyramids and tombs accordingly.
This is some of the detail from the foyer.
It is rich in decoration whereever you look. From the stylised sunburst to the stained glass built into the cornice and the central lamp fitting.
I'm not sure what the dark disk in the ceiling is, perhaps a vent of the remains of an earlier light fitting. Even so it has a quality look to it.
The detail above the exit of the main auditorium shows some more of the rich decoration in this theatre. Here you can see griffins an perhaps a winged horse alongside stylised floral forms.
I don't usually post photos with people in them but this one at the Château shows what we are like when we tour a building during a World Congress on Art Deco. And I had fun picking out some people. Our guides Jack & Jean-Yves. Colin from Montreal, Lynley from Melbourne, Peter from Sydney, Mick from Asheville, Rory from Los Angeles, Bob from Dublin, Robyn from Melbourne, Jo from London, Jan from Sydney and Mary from Dublin.
But forget about the people and have a look at the decoration on the wall and proscenium arch of this glorious theatre.
Little Italy Tour Booklet, 10th World Congress on Art Deco, Montreal