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At Footscray a Church is Pulled Down (1911)


This Pathé Freres Australian Animated Gazette newsreel item shows a small church in Paisley Street in Footscray, Melbourne. It is being prepared for demolition to make way for a new cinema, the Grand Picture Theatre.

Curator’s notes

In December 1910, a Pathé Freres Australian Animated Gazette film crew recorded daily life in the inner-west Melbourne suburb of Footscray. A week later, the finished film screened at Federal Hall as part of Federal Picture Company’s first regular series of films of Melbourne suburbs. According to film historian Chris Long, growing audiences throughout 1911 prompted the Federal Picture Company to build a second theatre on the site of an old church in Paisley Street. This footage shows the preparations for demolition. It was screened at the opening of the Grand Picture Theatre in November 1911, along with the December 1910 Footscray footage (see A Thriving and Prosperous Suburb: Bird’s Eye View of Footscray, c1911). The Grand continued as a cinema until it closed in the 1980s.