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May. 8th, 2009


The fate of the Harris Scarfe building

Hello all

Many of you would have heard that the current 1920s-30s Harris Scarfe building on Rundle Mall and Grenfell St is possibly going to be demolished. While its credentials as a Deco building are slim, it is one of the few remaining period buildings in the area and a very attractive building in its own right. Absolute demolition would be a tragedy, but would 'facadism' be any better?

Ive said enough, suffice to say that a letter writer to 'The Independent' had their say today and I think these suggestions are very sensible. I think the comparison with Melbourne is very well made. Those familiar with that city will know that the Kennett government and the local council made a decision almost two decades ago to maximise the potential of the inner city fabric of laneways and old buildings and the result has been fabulous for the whole city. Its time Adelaide started thinking this way too.

Here is the letter as a jpeg file.


Mar. 14th, 2009


The Chelsea - a last chance

Stevie Bee sent a message to the members of March Burnside Council Meeting


Hi there,

Now like most of us I generally consider attendance at most protests etc. to be something of a token-istic gesture to something that most likely will not actually achieve a desired outcome.

HOWEVER, at the council meeting this Tuesday a rescission motion will be put forward by one of the councilors who is against the sale of the Chelsea. This rescission motion (or the "unwinding of a transaction") is probably going to be THE LAST OPPORTUNITY TO SAVE THE CHELSEA CINEMA!

We have received advice that a great number of concerned people (such as yourself) attending the council meeting will most likely be what will push the motion over the edge and STOP THE SALE.

For this reason I urge you to do your bit and come on down to the meeting if you have any interest in the Chelsea Cinema remaining a cinema and not an empty shell with a shop in it.

All you have to do is show up and sit down.

Please come and bring as many people as you can to help

The details are:
This Tuesday   

Starting at 6:00pm at the     City of Burnside Council Chambers which is a big building next to the Burnside Library
(401 Greenhill Road)


Mar. 13th, 2009


My restoration project

Hi everyone,

This is my latest restoration project:: two blackwood dining chairs. The design is simple but effective, contrasting the diagonal and curves of the centre panel with the straight chair frame. Does anyone know what these sorts of chairs are called? I think they are not ‘waterfall style’, which I believe refers to the use of curved plywood, a technology available from the early 1930s. I’d suggest ‘vase-style’ or ‘fountain style’ but would love to hear from anyone with experience in the furniture trade. Meanwhile I’m removing the scungy old varnish and will re-stain and varnish. Would anyone like to suggest the best stain to use for blackwood? Also, if you should know the whereabouts of any identical chairs: I’d love at least two more. I'll post pics of the finished chairs with their swish new upholstery.

Feb. 24th, 2009


The Chelsea Cinema - round 4!

The Adelaide Chapter of the AD & MS would like to pass on this message:

The Save the Chelsea Cinema support team invite you to attend Save the Chelsea Cinema Action Group Meeting to be held on
4 PM
239 Kensington Road, Kensington SA
The meeting will involve a brief introduction, the formation of a committee/team, discussion about strategies/action and some plans to put into place.
An agenda will be available shortly.

PLEASE RSVP ASAP via return email: pennyl@adam.com.au

Also when you RSVP can you please give us a little background information on yourself? This information may include your occupation, skills you may be able to offer to the cause and contacts/associations with other organisations or businesses.
These details will enable the group to have a better understanding of one another and may also lead onto beneficial partnerships with other key players and businesses.

Feb. 20th, 2009


The Chelsea Cinema - an urgent round 3!

Save the Chelsea Cinema Emergency Meeting

Attendance is essential if you truly care for the future of the cinema
Save the Chelsea Cinema
Causes - Rally
Time and Place
Saturday, February 21, 2009
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Corner of Tusmore Ave and Godfrey Tce
Kensington Park, Australia

Now that we know the state of play, where the council sits in their decision to sell the cinema, we can now coordinate an action plan.

The meeting will provide information about the issues, introduce you to some key players and workshop some courses of action.
We also hope to form a coordinating action team to lead the fight.

The meeting will be held in the reserve/park across the road from the Chelsea Cinema, behind "Health on Kensington".

Please bring a chair and your enthusiasm!

Feb. 18th, 2009


The Chelsea Cinema - round 2

Attached is the ABC report on the outcomes of the Burnside Council Meeting last night where the Council voted to sell the Cinema by open tender after they give the Wallis group 120 days to come up with a proposal to buy the cinema.

There were many members in the gallery and our Convenor, Fran Smith was fantastic in her deputation to the Council on the merits of the Chelsea and the Society's views of how it should be preserved.
The Art Deco & Modernism Society's preferred option would have been that the Cinema was retained by the Council as this would have ensured a safer future for the State Heritage listed Cinema.
Secondly, if the cinema is to be sold it would be the society's position that it is retained as a public entertainment venue; although it is acknowledged that once in public hands there is a risk that the site (in a very enviable position) may be at risk of unsympathetic development, change of use and pressure to alter parts of the State Heritage listing. This may not be a short term risk but you can imagine the development pressures in 30-50 years time. (ie. keep the facade, cinema lobby and fill in the auditorium with say apartments or shops).
The Wallis Group, who have been operating the cinema for many years, (but not since it was built - I think it the Star Group had it for many years) sound keen to purchase the cinema and add further screens.  They would be encouraged by the Society to retain the full auditorium as it is today.  They also own the Piccadilly which is State Heritage Listed but was internally modified several years ago.
The best thing about this issue is that it highlights the concerns of Adelaide residents to retain Art Deco architecture and that is the very best way to save our InterWar heritage into the future.
Thankyou to everyone for their support and comments.
The Adelaide Chapter of the Art Deco and Modernism Society

Jan. 28th, 2009


The Chelsea Cinema's future - have YOUR say!

Hello folks.

The possibly grim news keeps on flowing. But in this case, although it involves yet another of our iconic Deco cinemas, the news may not be all bad if we have our say.

Please click on the link below which will take you to a recent 'Messenger' article about the state of play with the Chelsea.


As the link says - have your say! Its not all grim news if the council does the right, and forward  thinking thing.


Jan. 24th, 2009


More bad / good news

Hi all,

It seems like all the news at the moment is bad news, but here's some news that isn't perhaps as bad as it could have been. Most of us know that the Wallis Glenelg Cinema, formerly the Ozone and several other names, has been faced with redevelopment and possible destruction for some time:

We have now heard that the last screening at the Wallis Glenelg Cinema, Jetty Rd is on 1st February (6pm?) and they are showing 'Gone With the Wind'. The story goes that you can pick up free tickets from the Cinema.

The good news, such as it is, is that the building is NOT being demolished but will be remodelled as retail space, so at least that classic facade will not follow so many other prominent deco buildings into Adelaide history. Maybe this is a good sign.
See you there.


Jan. 23rd, 2009


Now Hear This!

The ADS local chapter 2009 events start HERE:

This is your last chance to see the features of the Adelaide Oval that the 'Bodyline' players and Bradman at his peak would have known. Unfortunately development means that most are on the way out.

Bookings are strictly limited - so phone Alison and secure your place on 0408 850 234!!!


Jan. 13th, 2009


According to the Adelaide review...

'Thumbs Down' (Jan 2009, p5)

"...The new Goyder Pavillion at the Wayville Showgrounds may have fabulous credentials in re-using stormwater and capturing solar energy, but a casual drive-by last week evinced the verdict that despite all this the building is - sadly - spectacularly ugly and unimaginative to look at. This is the building, after all, which replaced the marvelous facade of the Centennial Hall..."

No grumbling, just a picture.


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