Cottesloe Picture Theatre

Cottesloe Picture Theatre was established during 1924 inside Wells Hall (named after Walter Wells who owned the premises), cnr Leake Street and Stirling Highway.

Wells Hall was a big two story building containing a large hall, stage and dressings rooms upstairs and a large lodge room used by Freemasons.  The lodge room (together with a series of other rooms) were called Boronia Lodge.  The lower level housed the Roads Board Office, shops, a meeting room and a large room for Lodge festivals.  In the early years the Hall was the social centre for the district with annual balls, fetes, concerts and club meetings regularly taking place. From 1924-1956 – Peppermint Grove Roads Board offices formed part of the rear section of the Picture Theatre.

Towards the end of 1920s an outdoor picture theatre garden was created on land behind the hall in Leake Street.  The outdoor area consisted of well-kept lawns surrounded by evergreen flowering creepers and flowerbeds and trees in the background.  Patrons had a choice of the more expensive deck chairs or the hard wooden benches.

Wells Hall was renamed Cottesloe Hall when it was sold to W. Waters

In 1937 the Theatre was remodelled in the “International” style and became purely a picture theatre (cinema) with open air picture gardens.  It was operated by Lou Hatfield.

In 1963 – Work commences for new shopping centre, “The Grove Shopping Centre” and by 1964 the Picture Theatre was demolished and replaced by Boans Department Store.  In 1977 – The Grove Shopping Centre was rebuilt and opened as “Grove Plaza”


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