About Woodville Town Hall
The Woodville Town Hall is a prominent building of historic significance in Woodville Rd and is owned and operated by the City of Charles Sturt and is recognised as a Local Heritage Place.
The Woodville Town Hall building was initially constructed in 1903 as council offices and chambers. It was enlarged several times,first in the 1920s adding a supper room (now known as the Murree Smith Hall) and then again in the 1940s, to become a focal point for civic functions and community celebrations.
During its time it has hosted dignitaries, marked milestones, raised funds and cheer for Australian forces, delivered comfort, celebrated weddings and birthdays, held concerts and gala evenings, graduated students, welcomed new Australians, been the venue of debates and important decision-making and even had Jaffas hurled across its floors and Greek tragedies played out on its screen.
In 2011, the Town Hall underwent extensive renovations which saw new offices added and the installation of a lift, hearing loop and a number of other features and in 2013, the current audio-visual system was installed. Our versatile space is now adaptable for all types of seating and standing events.
The Woodville Town Hall was a much-loved suburban picture theatre for many decades, during the height of the golden age of cinema when attending the ‘flicks’ was an anticipated weekly event.
It is one of the few relatively intact former picture theatres remaining in Adelaide from this era, and is a rare example of the work of Sydney-based architects Karberry and Chard.
The hall section began operating as a picture theatre in 1927 immediately following its construction. It was leased and operated by Mr Daniel Clifford, the owner of Adelaide’s ‘Star’ suburban picture theatre chain. The lease helped repay the loan taken out by Woodville Council to build the hall.
Construction of the hall represented a pivotal moment in the development of Woodville as a progressive suburb. The 1927 opening night booklet elaborately boasted about the quality and significance of the hall:
“Time had it when any old barn sufficed for a picture show. People were content to witness crude productions under primitive conditions, only the expensive ‘seats’ boasted the slightest comfort and ‘music’ from a time-worn piano was considered a luxury.
Times have changed! for the Woodville Hall has all the embellishments of the modern Theatre.”
The hall was ornately decorated and furnished. It featured upstairs ‘Lounge De Luxe’ and ‘Dress Circle’ seating and extensive atmospheric, colour-changing lighting, including the five large crystal chandeliers that still grace the hall today. A beautiful painted scene adorned the background stage curtain. The total capacity of the hall was 1500.
The picture theatre impressively claimed to have the largest suburban orchestra in Australia with nine musicians. The projector equipment installed in the ‘Biograph Booth’ was said to be “the latest and most perfect machines in the Commonwealth” projecting a rock-steady picture with no trace of the flicker that occurred with “less up-to-date apparatus”.
Originally a silent movie theatre, the projection equipment was converted for sound within three years of the hall opening. The first ‘talkie’ was shown in April 1930. The final upgrading of the equipment occurred in mid-1955 with the installation of ‘CinemaScope’. This was done without the original proscenium surrounding the stage being widened or replaced and as a result, this 1927 feature survives to this day.
The early days of the picture theatre were profitable but, as Australia slid into the Depression in the 1930s, this did not last. Soon attendances were so low that Mr Clifford was unable to pay the rent. After several difficult years’ prosperity returned to the Woodville district and the picture theatre once again became a thriving enterprise. Mr Clifford died in 1942 and in 1947 the ‘Star’ chain was sold to Greater Union and the theatre became known as the ‘Woodville Odeon Star Theatre’.
Despite the impact of television, mainstream commercial screenings at Woodville continued for longer than at many other suburban theatres. Eventually the end did come, and the Woodville Town Hall closed its doors as a mainstream picture theatre on Saturday 9 November 1974.
Woodville Town Hall has begun to establish itself as a key cultural hub in Western Adelaide and provides an important social destination, a place where people and communities come together. We remain committed to supporting local artists, live music and events and helping to bring their benefits to all our community.
Woodville Town Hall provides the perfect space for your commercial hires, personal events and celebrations and we ensure high levels of customer service to ensure your event is special in every way.
Woodville Town Hall loves to celebrate community life. We are committed to the venue maintaining its focus of bringing our community together and providing opportunities for people to meet, connect, and celebrate.
We are proudly fully accessible and happy to welcome a diversity of artists, audiences and events.
To ensure this accessibility, the Woodville Town Hall is available at a discounted rate for registered charities and not-for-profits, community groups running free public events, and fundraisers where all profits will be donated to a registered charity or not-for-profit.
For discounted venue rates please contact Georgie Christie, Venue Coordinator.
Woodville Town Hall is committed to ensuring the venue is accessible to all.
The Main Entrance has flat ground-level access with wide doors.
Accessible unisex bathrooms are available in the ground floor lobby, just inside the main entrance, for the public and also in the dressing room for performers.
Lift access can be arranged to stage and dress circle (with the assistance of venue staff via the adjoining Council building).
Accessible parking spaces are available – 2 in the carpark behind the venue and 2 in the carpark across Woodville Road. Parking is also available immediately in front of the venue and may be reserved for drop-off and pick-up subject to prior arrangement.
A baby changing room is available in the unisex accessible toilet in the ground floor lobby, just inside the main entrance.
Catering for all dietary requirements can be booked through the venue’s preferred caterer, Let Them Eat.
A quiet space will be found whenever possible for people who need some respite from events. Please speak to Venue Staff if this is required.
A Hearing Loop is installed in the Dress Circle. People using hearing aids can utilise this by switching their hearing aid to ‘T’. Please see the maps at the front of the venue for which seats can access the hearing loop or ask venue staff for assistance. If you are booking tickets for a show with reserved seating please contact us first to confirm.
Companion Cards - Carers are admitted free of charge to an event when that carer is accompanying a holder of a Companion Card and is there to assist the holder of the Companion Card to participate. Woodville Town Hall requires all hirers of our venue to adhere to this.
Public Transport – Woodville Town Hall is 150m from the Woodville Railway Station, utilised by both the Grange and Outer Harbour trains. It is also a short walk from Bus Stops 221 Woodville Road and 22 Port Road. Plan your trip with Adelaide Metro.
Assistance animals are always welcome at Woodville Town Hall. Please ask venue staff if you require water for your assistance animal. A grass is available behind the venue for toileting.
Auslan and Audio Describer services may be offered by the venue or hirers for specific shows. Please check details of the specific event you wish to attend.
We are committed to ongoing improvement and making our venue as welcoming, accessible and inclusive as possible. Do you need other information before you book or attend an event at Woodville Town Hall? Do you have feedback or suggested improvements? Please approach any of our friendly staff or contact our Venue Coordinator, Georgie on 8408 1854 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Woodville Town Hall is located at 76 Woodville Road, Woodville - a short drive from the Adelaide CBD. Find it on Google Maps.
Woodville Town Hall encourages the use of sustainable transport where possible. The venue is conveniently located on major bus routes, the outer harbour greenway for cycling, and 150m from the Woodville Railway Station, utilised by both the Grange and Outer Harbour trains.
The car park behind the venue and civic centre is free but restricted during weekdays. It is available for venue parking during weeknights and weekends. The car park across Woodville Road from the venue is free and a mixture of restricted and non-restricted parking. There is also ample free street parking surrounding the venue.