Lane behind Northcote Theatre

Registration Number
Type of Object
Edition 1 of 5
Northcote Hysterical Society
Archival pigment print on rag paper
When Made
Public Description: 

The photograph, Lane behind Northcote Theatre, is from a series of black and white photographs from the exhibition David Wadelton presents, The Northcote Hysterical Society which was shown at the Bundoora Homestead Art Gallery in 2015. These images, beautifully photographed and reproduced by David, are a wonderful look back at the seventies in and around the northern Melbourne suburb of Northcote.

The Northcote Theatre was established at 216 High Street (corner of High Street and Bastings Street) in June 1912 by the Northcote Picture Theatre Company. It was designed by local architect, Edward Twentyman, jnr. and remains perhaps the earliest surviving picture theatre designed in Victoria. It possessed a balcony, stalls, its own electricity generator and a stage which was adaptable for vaudeville. For many businesses, laneways such as this one photographed by Wadelton, allowed rear access for deliveries and waste collection. It later beacame part of the Hoyts' chain of cinemas and while it was operating as a cinema, it was used as the setting for the film "Night Club" in 1952. The cinema closed in 1960. It has been used as a dance studio and having been extensively restored and refurbished to its original character it is now used as a reception centre.

David Wadelton is a local Northcote resident, painter and photographer. Since the early 1980s he has exhibited extensively throughout Australia with regular solo exhibitions at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions from Vision In Disbelief, the 4th Biennale of Sydney in 1982, to Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2013. A survey exhibition of Wadelton’s paintings and photographs, David Wadelton: Icons of Suburbia, was presented by McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery in 2011. Wadelton has embraced social media in his practice, establishing The Northcote Hysterical Society in 2008, which now has thousands of members. He is represented in many state and national collections, including the Australian National Gallery, and the National Gallery of Victoria. In addition to his career as a visual artist, Wadelton has made significant contributions to the field of experimental music in Australia.

Lane behind Northcote Theatre © David Wadelton

Makers Statement: 
Here you will find photos I took of Northcote and environs in the 1970s and early 80s, all in glorious black and white. I moved to Northcote in 1975, attracted by the cheap rent and proximity to the city and public transport. At first I rented a house in Clarke Street, then above a shop in High Street. We bought a house and I'm still here! Wadelton says ‘of the many thousands of negatives I have from the 1970s, the ones I chose to print back then in my home darkroom (with a few exceptions) now seem the least interesting. So many of the negatives that interest me now went right through to the keeper back then. But I kept the negatives ? and that’s the key.’