The Forum Cinema is located on the corner of Flinders and Russell Streets, in Melbourne. When it opened in February 1929, it was the largest theatre in the southern hemisphere. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer organ, which was later sold to the Moorabin City Council. Previously known as the State Theatre, the interior of the cinema resembled a Florentine garden. The auditorium and foyer were a dark blue colour with clouds and stars on the ceiling. The left side wall represented the Doge’s Palace in Venice and the right side wall the temple of the Venus de Capua in Naples. The decorations were complete with statues of naked gods and goddesses, imitation greenery and plaster doves.
In 1962 the cinema ceased operating as a single screen, and reopened shortly after with a 2nd screen which was equipped for 70mm presentations with Dolby surround sound. Occasional movies and special events take place at the Forum Cinema. One of these events is the Melbourne Film Festival, where I worked as a volunteer checking tickets. It also hosts concerts and functions with a capacity of 1,500, with most of the seating removed.