currently completing research for her book on Marian Street Theatre.
After an almost fatal heart attack, British actor Alexander Archdale decided to start a professional theatre repertory company in Australia. So in 1965 he formed the Community Theatre, raising capital by offering memberships to the public. In 1974 it was renamed Marian Street Theatre Company.
WHERE SHOULD THE THEATRE BE?
In 1966 Alexander Archdale looked at purchasing the Roseville Theatre, or even converting the Turramurra Bakery.
But finally, he decided on the Killara
Community Hall. It was close to the highway, Killara Station and leafy Selkirk Park – and had a caretaker’s flat that Archdale could use. Ku-ring-gai Council, the building’s owner, agreed to a lease after much debate, and even a rescission motion.
Members of the Community Theatre were given a monthly newsletter, preferential bookings and 10% discount on tickets.
Subscribers also gained a free seat for each of nine shows, and extra seats at 20% discount. Junior members were given half price seats at Saturday matinees.
If members gave $50, they were known as ‘Theatre Founders’.