Hindley St cyclorama and rink becomes Adelaide's first picture theatre, West's, in 1908
Some of the art deco style of West's cinema in Hindley Street remains in its new role as Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's Grainger Studio.
Adelaide's first permanent cinema was in Hindley Street on the site of the cyclorama and the Olympia skating rink. Cinema chain owner T. J. West bought the site and revamped it as West’s Picture Theatre. It opened in December 1908.
In 1939, West decided to knock down the theatre and build a modern one in its place. (The theatre is now the home of Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as the Grainger Studio – named after Percy Grainger.)
By 1912, several silent movie picture theatres were built, mainly around Hindley Street.
The Empire Theatre opened alongside the newly-built 1901 Central Market in Grote Street.
The style of picture theatre buildings was influenced by the American cinema industry. They were often ornate and the most flamboyant building in the streetscape.
Two former cinema buildings survive as substantial shops along Rundle Mall.
One is the five-storey Lotteries Commission building at 23-25 Rundle Mall which was a former Grand Picture Theatre built for sole proprietor Alfred Drake. He held a grand opening in November 1916 for the city’s mayor and other dignitaries before it was premiered to the public the next day with The Fool's Revenge.
It closed in 1976, having also been known at different times as the Mayfair and Sturt cinemas.