10 April 2022(Until 10 April)
‘The Rivoli’ Matinee – Hit of the 2020 Sydney Festival – Greg Poppleton & Dancemakers’ Collective
Greg Poppleton and The Dancemakers' Collective
The Rivoli 10th April with The Dancemakers’ Collective and the Greg Poppleton Trio (Greg Poppleton 1920s vocals, Grahame Conlon guitar and banjo, Cazzbo Johns sousaphone), a hit of the 2020 Sydney Festival, comes to beautifully restored Art Deco Malachi Gilmore Hall in Oberon.
A celebration of social life before social media, when to meet was to talk, laugh and move to music together.
The Rivoli is an immersive dance hall meets dance theatre performance, The Rivoli is a tribute to the iconic dance halls across Australia that were a celebration of social life before social media.
A hit at Sydney Festival 2020, this joyous production will celebrate the launch of the iconic Malachi Gilmore Hall in Oberon… after four decades of waiting for dancers to return to the dance floor.
The Rivoli features some of Australia’s best dancers and a stellar live band, The Greg Poppleton Trio. It is Dance Makers Collective’s most ambitious work yet, The Rivoli, an ode to a bygone dance era.
“a thoroughly entertaining and surprising work.”
“…energetic, lively and moving.”
There are two performances of the The Rivoli – Saturday night, 9th April 2022 and Sunday afternoon, 10th April 2022
All seats have good visibility.
Appropriate for families, people of all ages (minimum 6+)
Content warnings -Strobe Lighting and fog
The Malachi is a COVIDsafe business
You can use your Discover NSW voucher at the checkout. One voucher per order.
ABOUT THE MALACHI
The recently restored Art Deco Malachi Gilmore Memorial Hall occupies a prominent position in the main street of Oberon. Its asymmetrical façade is a striking Inter-war Art Deco addition to the streetscape of Oberon Street and the town generally.
On its opening in 1937, The Sydney Morning Herald wrote,
“The Malachi Gilmore Memorial Hall recently completed at Oberon has for its architectural basis the famous Pharos pylon of Alexandria. This historical pylon had a height of 460 feet. It was built by Sostratus of Cynidus. The architects of the Oberon Hall conceived the idea of making it a minor replica of the Pharos pylon. This design was accepted by the parish priest (Dr. A.J. Gummers) and the representatives of the late Malachi Gilmore, who was a native of Ireland. This was a startlingly bold design, but now that the hall has been completed it is a really beautiful building without being in the least incongruous. It is one of the architectural landmarks not merely of the town, but also of the whole district between the Blue Mountains and Lithgow. Tourists admire the bold outlines of the new building. Many, ignorant of the antiquity of the design (the Pharos tower was supposed to have been erected 283BC, and was favourably commented on by Pliny and Strabo, ancient historians), regard it as ultra modern in conception. An old hall adjoining emphasises the bold outlines of the new building. A striking feature of the front of the new building is the use of glass bricks supplied by the Australian Glass Company, Sydney. The remainder of the building is stoutly built in brick and concrete. The hall measures 110 feet by 40 feet. It is used mainly for Roman Catholic social functions. . . Mr H. A. Taylor, Sydney, was the builder of the hall.”
The façade is rendered concrete with a complex massing of curving and rectangular shapes presenting a stepped skyline to the street. The emphasis is generally horizontal except for a central portion with a vertical pier rising to a height of nearly 14 metres. The metal-framed windows create a grid-like pattern and are stepped in size and proportion to match the stepped façade. Glass bricks form a large curved wall. The building’s name is rendered in stylized lettering on the façade.
The interior of the façade section of the building is largely intact and contains a foyer with fireplace, gallery, cloak rooms, bio-box and rewinding rooms at the front. In the main hall the walls are decorated with plasterwork, with some original Morene Art stucco work. The flooring of the foyer and main hall is West Australian jarrah hardwood. Under the main hall is another floor with slab concrete flooring supporting “supper rooms” and opening at ground level onto the large parking area at the rear of the property. The foyer is approximately 65 square metres (700 sq ft) and the hall has 279 square metres (3000 sq ft) of dancing space. Curiously, the hall was built in reverse of the architect’s plans.
Some major, although not structural changes were made during the 1980s, disconnecting the façade from the main hall section of the building. A stud wall now blocks the view that was formerly available from an upstairs viewing area onto the main hall (this vewing area has been converted in part to an office and in part left as open space). Similarly a stud wall blocks the view that was formerly available from the mezzanine level projection room into the main hall. At the time of renovation two new bathrooms were built in the façade section. A section of the stage in the main hall section was also cut out to make room for an elevator to convey goods from the rear parking area.
Thorne, Tod and Cork point out that one of the building’s eccentricities is that “the auditorium does not match the façade in any way. The former is a rather plain country hall with a stage, proscenium, stalls and small gallery” (1996, 302). According to Scott Robinson of the NSW Art Deco Society, “The Malachi Gilmore Hall is a most unusual combination of a diminiative (sic) Modern “picture palace” front (with its vertical fin and roof) and Modern Movement rectiliniarity of the stepped massing of the building behind the front” (quoted in the Heritage Inventory nomination form submitted by the Friends of the Malachi Gilmore Hall, 2001). Ross Thorne’s 1983 “Theatres/Cinemas in NSW” states that the exterior of the hall is “unique in a kind of west-coast USA 1930s design style with a vague Frank Lloyd Wright influence produced by the feeling of horizontality (in parts). It also has a very strong vertical element at the front, and glass bricks in the manner of Depression Modern”. Thorne, Tod and Cork’s “Movie Theatre Heritage Register” states, “there is nothing quite like it elsewhere in New South Wales. Even by today’s standards, the building is unusual and futuristic” (1996, 302).
The architectural significance of the hall has been widely recognised and is reflected in the large number of heritage listings: Oberon Shire Council LEP, RAIA Register of Twentieth Century Buildings, the Register of the National Trust of Australia (NSW), the Register of the Art Deco Society, and Ross Thorne’s Movie Theatre Heritage Register.
No refunds. You can use your Discover NSW voucher at the checkout. One voucher per order.