Back in the seventies and eighties when I was growing up in Perth there were two main cinemas in the city that got most of the business. There was the Greater Union "Cinecentre" on the corner of Murray and Barrack St and the plush (and then new) Cinema City just up the arcade on Hay St.

I always remember that Greater Union building for its rich blue top and sides. (Actually, it's a bit like Beatty Park for that reason.) Even though the last film was shown quite some time ago, it still looks very much as it always did from outside. Here it is now, dwarfed by the massive Equus luxury apartment building which is now nearing completion.

The cinemas within were certainly operating into this century, because I remember seeing films when I was living here in 2001. At some stage it must have been taken over by Hoyts, even though the Greater Union signs were never removed. (I vaguely recall that this might have happened in the late eighties, though I can't be sure. It could have been much later. In any case, you can see that it was run by Hoyts in this online listing of Perth cinemas.)

Well, whoever owns it now, it's definitely not showing any more movies. I'm not sure when it folded as a cinema, but it appears that until recently it was a bridal shop selling gowns, shoes and the like. But even that has closed down. It's been partially boarded up as you can see here.

However, if you look through the front window you can still see the carpeted steps that used to lead up into the various cinemas. That image certainly brings back a lot of pleasant memories from my youth.

I suspect the building won't be around in its present form for very much longer. It will probably either be demolished completely or gutted and totally refurbished. That will be another Perth icon gone, which is more than a little bit sad.

UPDATE: Have received this clarification from an expert about some of the cinema history alluded to above:

It wouldn’t have been taken over by Hoyts as GU and Hoyts mergen forces for about 5 year in the late 90’s to the mid 2000’s, GU over its 100 year history has merged and unmerged with several cinema chains including Hoyts and Village. Kind regards, Liam Jensen-Kohl Historical Archivist AHL (GU & Event Cinemas)