81 Barrack Street,
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At 81 Barrack Street, the Liberty Theatre became Perth’s first art house cinema opening 1st March 1954. The architectural firm Sheldon & Krantz (the principals of which were Jewish refugees) was engaged to transform the first floor of a goldrush era building into an intimate contemporary cinema with the express purpose of screening foreign-language and art house films – mostly, of course, European.
As a speciality ‘European’ house it lasted less than a decade, but it endured screening a variety of film genres until the early-1990’s (by which time it had been renamed the Kimberley Theatre and was showing Chinese martial arts films). When I was a teenager, I remember it as the Perth ‘home’ of the Sydney Poitiers film “To Sir With Love”, which screened there for well over two years! It was closed in October 1997. It still exists today in retail use.
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