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Speakers - Melway Drive-In c.1958


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.



Registration number
City of Melville Museums

City of Melville Museums

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three speakers

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