Building of the week – Cygnet Theatre


The Cygnet Theatre was built in 1938 for James Stiles, owner of the Grand Theatre Company. The theatre was originally named Como Theatre but changed to Cygnet Theatre in the 1960’s to associate with the Festival of Perth’s black swan logo.

The building was designed by William Leighton and built by W.H. Ralph and Sons and originally had an adjacent outdoor picture garden. Leighton is also known for other cinemas such as the Piccadilly Theatre & Arcade in Perth, Windsor Theatre in Nedlands and Astor Theatre in Mt Lawley.

Gaiety Theatre (corner Coode and Angelo Street, established 1926) and Hurlingham Theatre (Canning Highway, established 1933) were still operating when Como Theatre opened. Como Theatre was the most modern and up-to-date cinema in the district, screening talkies for the first time.

The style of the theatre is inter-war functionalist with art deco influences. It is listed on the state register of heritage places administered by the Heritage Council of WA.

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