Skip to main content

Please be advised: this website contains the names, images and voices of people who are now deceased.

Collections WA has a responsibility to preserve and make accessible the history and culture of Western Australia in all its various forms. The intention of Collections WA is to support research, and to reveal actions of the past that have impacted upon communities, families, and individuals.

In doing so, Collections WA acknowledges the need to respond sensitively and appropriately in cases when accessing this material may be confronting to Aboriginal visitors and clients.

Please also note: Some historical materials within this portal may include language or opinions that today are considered inappropriate or even offensive. Collections WA does not endorse this language and apologises for any distress caused.

Continue
Continue showing cultural advice
Stop showing cultural advice
CWA Logo Collections WA brings together collections from libraries, galleries, museums, archives, historical societies, cultural organisations, community groups and other collecting organisations across Western Australia.

Speakers - Melway Drive-In c.1958

Overview

Two metal drive-in speakers and a stand. a) Westex (Triangular). b) Yelland (round). c) Speaker stand

Historical information

A much loved suburban phenomena that sprang up in Perth in the 1950s was the drive- in picture theatre. This coincided with rise in car ownership, and it became a novel way to spend a night out. On a 12-acre site in Rome Rd (on the south-east corner of Kitchener St), Melville Drive-in Theatres Pty Ltd constructed a drive-in theatre designed by William and Garry Leighton, and opened 14 March 1958 with provision for 536 cars. Known as the Mellway Drive-in, it featured a 100 foot wide screen, and had 16 miles of underground cabling to connect the car speakers. The site had previously been a poultry farm. External seating was provided for car-less patrons, and a playground under Cape lilac and willow trees is fondly remembered by pyjama clad children who would play there at intermission between the double feature picture shows. It closed in 1985, and the site was redeveloped into a retirement village (Myaree Gardens Estate).

These speakers were on short poles and a car would drive up, open the driver’s window and hang the speakers on the window of the car so as to hear the movie. A common mistake was for people to drive away with the speakers still attached.

Details

Details

Registration number
cwa-org-137-M2018.40a-c
Material
City of Melville Museums

City of Melville Museums

Organisation Details
View Collection
Item Feedback

three speakers

Scan this QR code to open this page on your phone ->

Full size unavailable (you're already seeing this image in its highest resolution available on Collections WA)
Loading...