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some sydney venue foyers – look up and around

At the time of writing this Sydney venues are opening up to audience capacities of 75%. With Covid 19 check ins it is advisable to arrive  a half an hour before the scheduled performance time.

One is hurried in and may miss one of the additional pleasures, in particular a spectacular foyer.

The grand- daddy of them all is the State Theatre in Market Street, Sydney.  The building was completed in  1929 after a two year build.

State Theatre

It is an unusual blend of Art Deco and Heraldic  decoration obviously  reflecting the interests of the architect  Henry  Eli White. It was heritage listed and there are tours of the foyer, but whether these have recommenced is an uncertainty.

Like the State Theatre, the Randwick Ritz was heritage listed in 1999. It is located at 43 St Pauls Street, Randwick, the area colloquially known as the Spot. It was designed by Aaron Bolot in a classic Art Deco design in 1937, featuring Egyptian motifs with their sharp, angular lines complementing those of the Art Deco movement.

Radwick Ritz

In 2008 the Australian Film Walk Of Fame  was created outside the theatre’s foyer, with plaques honouring members of the Australian film industry.

Those honoured include Charles Tingwell, Michael Caton , Claudia Karvan, Jack Thompson , Barry Otto and Deborah Mailman, to name  but a few.

The next two theatres are not heritage listed and, in fact, one of them, the Camelot Lounge, had to move to its current premises because the previous venue was declared a fire trap. It is located at 103 Marrickville Road, Marrickville.

It is not a traditional foyer as such. As you enter the venue after climbing a steep flight of stairs, you are confronted  with a  jumble of camels and Botero paintings with their oversize  subjects and flamboyance.

The Camelot Lounge
Camelot Lounge

It is co-owned by Tony Hecimovic and Yaron Hallis, who is the lead singer and founder of Monsieur Camembert. The band is depicted  on the Lounge’s wall  and the  real Yaron Hallis can be seen on many nights serving pizzas and the like .

The Factory Theatre located at 105 Victoria  Road, Marrickville is not a traditional  foyer as such  as it has no roof. However, at night, when you enter this space you are dazzled by a cornucopia of fairy lights and decorations.

Factory Theatre, Marrickville
Factory Theatre
Factory Theatre

It reminded me of the nocturnal decorations of Luna Park. The space  opens up to a number of venues and once again you may be rushing to find the appropriate performance space thus missing  the fairyland above you.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Palace Central foyer in the Central Park complex . At this venue you are greeted by long wall apertures of colour alternating neon lights.  You don’t have  to look up  to see or feel the impact of this foyer.

Palace Cinema Central

Photos and text  by Ben Apfelbaum.





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