National Theatre - 20 Carlisle Street. ST KILDA [Walking Melbourne Building Information]
Walking Melbourne

National Theatre: 20 Carlisle Street, ST KILDA

National Theatre
National Theatre
National Theatre
National Theatre
National Theatre

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Building Profile

Name : National Theatre
Past Names : Victory Theatre


Address: 20 Carlisle Street

Postcode: 3182

Construction Details

Built: 1920 - 1921
Original use: Theatre
Current use: Theatre

number of floors : 2

Built in the Interwar period in the Beaux Arts style

Notable features

The National Theatre, a heavily modelled Classical revival building, is sited on a diagonal axis with a triangular entrance foyer and two principal facades on both Carlisle and Barkly Streets. The giant column screens and entablature are in the Ionic order. Its symmetrical planning and monumental elevations and interiors are characteristic of the Beaux Arts style. The external side walls have exposed brick keying for stucco treatment which was never completed.


n 1971 the cinema chain Hoyts sold the cinema to the National Theatre Movement for use as its permanent home. The National Theatre was established in 1935 by soprano Gertrude Johnson (1894-1973) on her return to Australia after a successful overseas career. Her aim was to foster training in drama, dance and opera nationally and to form professional ongoing companies to undertake national tours. Schools were established in Opera, 1935, Drama, 1936 and Ballet, 1939 and professional performing companies followed in ballet and opera in 1948 and drama in 1951. During the 1960s, the success of the National Theatre's production companies waned and the focus of the company turned to the schools. The Drama School's directors have included Joan Harris, Kim Durban, Babs McMillan and Ken Boucher. The Ballet School's directors included Marilyn Jones, Kathleen Gorham (associate director), Gailene Stock, Anne Jenner and Beverly Jane Fry. The National Theatre's Opera School amalgamated with the Victorian College of the Arts in 1978.

Architect: Cedric H. Ballantyne

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