My accidental visit to the former Burnley Theatre

In my hunt for some cheap-but-cheerful outdoor furniture, I found myself going to Swan Street Sales, at 365 Swan Street, Richmond. I didn’t like their replica Tolix tables at all when I got there but all was forgiven because OH MY GOD, it’s an old cinema that closed down after television arrived in the 1950s and has been a furniture warehouse ever since, slowly crumbling:

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The salesman was so pleased at my clear fascination with the place that he took me around the whole building (including the off-limits staff area) and showed me lots of the old features. Look, projector-related holes!

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The holes in the walls for the projector picture to go through to the screen. I want to call them projector boxes but I’m not at all sure that IS what they’re called

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A bit of fancy plasterwork falling out of the ceiling

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One of the box seats (this one’s been repaired; it apparently cost them $20,000 and they said “yeah, not worth it to do any more”)

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I approached it from the other direction and I’m never in that neck of the woods (I was on my way to visit the Johnston Collection) so I wasn’t prepared when I walked in. If I’d come from the other way, I would have seen the facade and been forewarned:

Richmond Burnley Theatre

If you’re wondering why this pic doesn’t look like it was taken with an iPhone on a winter’s day, it’s because it’s from wikimedia…

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3 Responses to My accidental visit to the former Burnley Theatre

  1. Wow! What a find! Looks like there are so many treasures to be found in there too! How sad though that that is how it’s ended up. Would be nice if someone with lots of money could come along and restore it all!

  2. Leon says:

    One of those really strange places

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