Month: September 2014

Slugs and fonts at the Museum of Printing

Meet Michael Isaachsen, director of the Melbourne Museum of Printing. This unusual museum is a personal collection of printing machines, typefaces, equipment and artefacts, only a tiny fraction of which is on public display at the current premises, 266 Geelong Road Footscray.

Continue reading

“So fine a place of entertainment” – the lost theatres of Footscray

fiesta_bingo

On the face of it, the Fiesta Bingo Hall in Paisley Street, Footscray is a depressing, semi-derelict edifice, with various small businesses desperately trying to make a go of it at ground floor level. The upper part of the exterior is ruined – the Fiesta Bingo signage seems to get worse every time you look, with bits regularly falling off.

But walk around the back and you find something amazing. Continue reading

Sun Theatre, Yarraville

Sun Theatre and Coffee Palace, Yarraville

And so to my home suburb – Yarraville.

The Sun Theatre is probably Yarraville’s best known feature, and although it is a principle of my walk to focus on things that are little known rather than landmarks, I can’t pass by the Sun. For one thing, it is such a beautiful Art Deco building, one of the best in Melbourne. For another, it’s a great story of restoration. Continue reading

Yarra Coffee Palace, Yarraville

Guest post: Growing up in the Yarra Coffee Palace

by Lucia Nardo

The first time I entered the Yarra Coffee Palace was late 1961. Our family had been forced to move from our rented home in Williamstown with its large productive garden. The Palace, with its faded name painted high on the front façade, was altogether different. The dark interior of the building smelled of mould and was layered in dust. Instead of a garden, the land behind the property sported a dilapidated stable, complete with rusted tools and a horse cart. I’d never seen wheels that big on anything. To a small child, used to a compact home, it was confusing and intriguing. This abandoned incarnation of the Yarra Coffee Palace was dense with untold stories. Even at the age of six, I wondered about the people who’d stayed there when it had been a temperance hotel. Continue reading