In the early days the Theatre Royal was accessed by the lane down the side as there was a hotel at the front of it. It is claimed that in early times a philandering man famously tried to escape out an upstairs window to avoid a returning husband, but fell and broke his leg.
During the war, Archbishop Mannicks who was the Catholic Arch Bishop from Melbourne was refused a booking at the town hall because he was arguing against conscription on the grounds that he objected to Irish Catholic boys being conscripted to fight for the English. Instead he addressed the crowd from the balcony at the front of the Theatre. To get to the balcony he had to pass through the bedrooms. In one bedroom was a sickly young girl whom he blessed as he passed through. That young girl recovered and went on to live a long life. She attributed her recovery and subsequent good health to the Arch Bishop’s blessing. In 1918 St Mary’s hall was built so that the Archbishop would not have to suffer the indignity of being refused a booking again.
I met Kylie and Jason at a Blue Light in the day. I vomited from eating too many lollies and listening to loud music.
The pleasure of seeing John Paul Young yesterdays hero at The Pit when i was 5! What a blast!
If you wanted to go to the theatre you could go book your ticket at Macafies milk bar on Barker St where there was a plan of the Theatre Royal pinned to the cupboard so you could mark off your chosen seat. Sometime you went twice in one week as the movie was often to be continued.
Sat arvo at the pictures at the Theatre Royal, 50’s maybe? sixpence to get in, threepence for lollies, National Anthem, newsreel, 2 cartoons, one serial, one short movie, intermission, shorts for next movies, main feature. 1.30 to 5.15pm.
Lots of cheering for the goodies and booing for the baddies in the serials, then main picture might be Shirley Temple or even better a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy. Everyone stood up for the National Anthem!!
A long time ago when the Theatre Royal used to be a pub, the publican’s had a daughter named Annie. She was considered simple, so they used to keep her locked up in the room upstairs, “for her own good.” This room, named Annie’s Room, is now haunted by her ghost.