The first public film screening in South Australia took place at the Theatre Royal in Hindley Street, Adelaide in October 1896. The short films screened featured dancers and American folk heroes and were about one minute each in length.
Pictured here in 1881, the Theatre Royal had opened in 1868 before being rebuilt in 1878. It was reconstructed in 1913–14 and hosted the premiere of The Woman Suffers (Raymond Longford, Australia) in 1918.
The Theatre Royal was principally a venue for live theatre and performers over the years included Sarah Bernhardt, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.
Bought by a department store, it was demolished for a multi-storey car park in 1962.
Notes by Stephen Groenewegen