Diagonally opposite the Boulder Town Hall, this building
is a fine example of the art deco style of the 1930's and is one of
only two such buildings remaining in the Goldfields region. The theatre
is now converted into a recreation
sports centre; facilities for skating, bootskooting, children's parties
and cinema hire are just a few of the activities provided for within.
During 1978, a group of concerned local business and community people
felt the need for a ‘Drop-in-Centre’ for the youth of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
The Palace Theatre building and land was available for sale for the
princely sum of $13,000, and was subsequently purchased by the ‘Boulder
Youth Management Committee Inc’ through fundraising and a donation from
the Sir Lindsay Clark Trust Fund (1978-1980). The Theatre consisted
of indoor and outdoor picture screens with the main brick building at
127 Burt Street and the outdoor seating area at 123 and 125 Burt Street.
A change in name occurred in 1982 to Goldfields Youth Management Committee
Inc. In it's first few years the centre catered for activities such
as skating, table tennis, boxing, weightlifting and trampolining. The
Government-subsidised Vacation Care Program was initiated in Kalgoorlie-Boulder
at the Theatre in 1980 and continued through until 1991. The income
from these recreational sessions was, however, not enough to support
the maintenance of the building. The decision was made to sell the corner
block to provide the Committee with working capital and a future.
With the closure of Kalgoorlie-Boulder's only other skating venue, Kalarena,
in 1986, additional roller skating sessions were introduced at the Theatre.
Around the same time the Eastern Goldfields YMCA approached the GYMC
to establish indoor cricket, which had previously operated at Kalarena.
Hence indoor cricket was a big financial boost for four years (1987-1991),
in addition to roller skating, up until the Cremorne Indoor Cricket
Centre started operation. Summer indoor soccer and indoor hockey filled
the gap for the following two years (1991-1993). When the Eastern Goldfields
Hockey Association built their stadium in Lionel Street, the soccer
and hockey sessions slowly decreased in regularity. Roller hockey commenced
in 1994 at a social level, and moved on to a competitive level in 1997,
catering for both junior and senior players. Sub-junior competitions
started in 1998. With the introduction and popularity of roller blades
over the next few years there was a tremendous decline in regular attendance
at sessions. Even though the majority of people using the rink had their
own roller blades, it was no longer the hive of skating social activity.
Instead they are blading at their home environs. The opening of the
Goldfields Oasis Recreation Facility also gave the people other avenues
for leisure activities.
A meeting on the 1st November
1999 led to a decision to rename the organisation the ‘Palace
Theatre Recreation Centre Inc’. It was felt this gave
a better indication of the activities held at this facility. In March
2001, Boulder Promotion & Development Association decided to support
the Palace Theatre as it was having difficulties due to a lack of volunteers.
A special meeting was called on the 30th May and a new committee was
formed. In September 2002, the Palace Theatre
was formally handed over to BP&DA. There
have been various submissions put in to raise money for much needed
work to the Theatre. The block next door has been fenced and skate park
equipment supplied by the council. The upstairs area was gutted has
been restored as a cinema, with the seats from the Cremorne Theatre
recovered and placed insitue. The lighting was upgraded and the ceiling
replaced, thanks to a grant from the GEDC's Kalgoorlie Boulder
BP&DA received a grant of $110,000.00 from the Federal
Governments Regional Partnerships Grants to replace the
floor and do restoration work on the Palace Theatre. The outside was
repainted and the floor replaced with a magnificent new floor, new carpets
laid, a data projector was purchased for the cinema and a new sound
system installed in th DJ box. The toilets have been upgraded and the
tiling was done throughout the interior early in 2005.
All work was finalized by November 2005 and a official
function to celebrate the completion was held on 10th December with
Barry Haase MP presiding over the event. The next thing on the agenda
is replacing the front doors and restoring the entrance facade.
The Palace Theatre is also being recognised at the Seventh Art Deco
Awards Ceremony and Art Exhibition honouring the Cinema Architects of
the 1930's in WA. The Exhibition will feature 20 cinemas of the 1930's,
including several long-gone, which were of great significance to the
social history of Western Australia. One of those to be featured is
the Palace Theatre.
The Theatre Today:
financial viability of the Palace Theatre has seen the emphasis now
focusing on groups hiring the facility.
Children's party bookings are also very popular, especially in the winter
months and can be arranged to suit. The beginners session has also grown
in numbers. Other community groups use the centre for their end of season
activities with bookings being made months in advance.
Palace Theatre Recreation Centre
127 Burt Street (PO Box 2350)
Boulder 6432 Western Australia
Phone/Anwering Machine: 08-9093 2370
Session Manager: Steph Openshaw 0427 990 019
property was purchased by a committee with community-raised money for
the community. That means for each and every one of us.
11.30am - 12.30pm
General Skate: Sunday
1.00pm - 3.00pm
Tuesday & Thursday
1.00pm - 3.00pm
0427 990 019
Steph Openshaw with some of the skates that were purchased with
a donation recieved by KCGM in June 2006