Movie-going in style

If you happen to be in Camberwell, take a stroll past the Rivoli Cinema. It’s my favourite building in the area, despite the monolithic concrete extension added onto the original Art Deco building. To be fair, the extension doesn’t overshadow the original building except if you approach from the western end of Camberwell Road, where it looks like a school gym or nuclear testing facility. Unlike many cinemas built in the 30s and 40s, the Rivoli is still functioning (farewell, the Metro in Adelaide).

If you get lucky and manage to see a movie in one of the original theatres, you’ll be treated to this view. If it’s a really crap movie (say, anything with Drew Barrymore in it), you could just stare at the ceiling instead. (Many thanks to the Cinemas and Theatre Historical Society for this photo and the one below.)

Above: The main stairwell, complete with arching lady and curlicued railings. The carpet was specially designed as part of the $16 million refit of the building, completed in 2000, and I know that it’s meant to evoke geometric Art Deco-style artwork… but sadly, for me, it evokes nothing more than sticky-floored RSL bistros, airport terminals and casinos.

There’s a great, dedicated Art Deco blog here, for those who want more.

Rivoli Cinemas
200 Camberwell Road
East Hawthorn VIC 3123

:: Arwen ::



Filed under architecture

2 responses to “Movie-going in style

  1. Looks like a great cinema and a wonder that it’s still going. Independent cinemas in NSW are struggling.

  2. Ah, it’s sadly not independent. It’s Village… which may have been the only way to keep it open.

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