Barclay Theatre, Melbourne: King Rat Preview

Barclay Theatre, Melbourne: King Rat Preview
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A newsreel clip about a special preview of the film King Rat (Bryan Forbes, USA, 1965) at the Barclay Theatre in Melbourne. The film portrays life in the Changi prisoner-of-war camp in Singapore.

At the invitation of Columbia Pictures, former Australian prisoners of the camp attend the screening. Managing Director of Columbia Pictures, Colin Jones, talks with Brigadier 'Blackjack' Galligan who was in command at Changi.

Calligan later addresses the audience before the viewing, stressing that the film is fictional. It starred George Segal, Tom Courtenay, James Fox, Denholm Elliott and John Mills.

The Barclay Theatre was built in 1908 as a live theatre. It was converted to a cinema in the early 1940s, reverted to live theatre and then returned to screening films. 

It was demolished in 1976; the last film that screened was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Miloš Forman, USA, 1975).

The Greater Union Russell Cinemas opened on the site in 1978 but was itself demolished in 2014 for a hotel.

From Cinesound Review No. 1790.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen