Having operated as a school for thirty years and a police centre for fifty, this old girl is now welcoming movie-goers in Stage 1 of its emergence as a new Creative Precinct.
There’s an interrogation room still in place and the remnants of a secret cop bar in the basement, but those secret places will only be revealed in coming months as this historic building is transformed in to a thriving Creative Precinct.
While the old Perth Girls’ School holds more than a lifetime of its own stories, now, thanks to the creative team behind FRINGE WORLD Festival and Rooftop Cinemas, it’s telling a few new ones along with oldies-but-goodies.
Activating two of the main spaces in the building – the hall and an adjacent courtyard – a cinema is offering patrons a first glimpse of this heritage-listed beauty.
“Girls School Cinema aims to offer something a little different and a boutique alternative to megaplex mono culture,” says Justin Marshman, Producer of Girls School Cinema. “We’re creating a cinema experience that hopefully feels like a huge flix and chill party in the lounge room of your mate, if your mate is the Great Gatsby.”
Rooftop Movies caravans have set up shop in the courtyard, while all the favourites have come to join including Toastface Grillah’s toasted sandwiches, Suppa Club’s gourmet soups, and a full bar from Madfish Wine and Gage Roads. Toasted marshmallows and mulled wine around the courtyard firepits also make an appearance some nights.
As for the decor, Justin describes is as heritage pop-invasion inspired with colourful beanbags strewn across the historical hall.
“There are little personalised tables for you to perch your bevie and popcorn on, and free snuggle blankets if you want to get really comfy – they come in single as well as double sizes, depending on how your date night is going.”
Originally designed by government architect A.E. Clare and later recognised with a 1939 architecture award, the old school building epitomises art deco grandeur through pyramid-shaped roofs and striped columns.
“The building is one of Perth’s hidden gems and we’ve been loving seeing people’s reactions when they get to peek inside,” Justin said. “The film program has been offering something for everyone, including Disney sing-a-longs that have been really fun for families.”
Girls School Cinema is located at 2 Wellington Street, East Perth and will run until September 29, 2018.
For more information and the movie program, visit http://girlsschoolcinema.com.au.