About the photo – “Empire Theatre”

“Empire Theatre”

~ The story behind the photo ~

A black and white photograph of Toowoomba's Empire Theatre.

Many people who have visited Toowoomba will usually have at least heard of if not passed by the Empire Theatre. This is my story about the making of “Empire Theatre”. One of the most popular prints in my collection.

The Place

The Empire Theatre is a building designed in the art deco in style.

Originally completed in 1911, the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1933. Incorporating some of the original building, the theatre was rebuilt and served as a cinema, vaudeville stage, and at one point, occupied by Waltons Pty Ltd, a department store retailer.

Now owned by the Toowoomba Regional Council, the theatre has been restored to it’s 1933 art deco look and an modern sound and lighting system. With further updates coming in 2018, the theatre will service as a cultural centrepiece for the region for decades to come.

The Prep

Living near Toowoomba, I couldn’t not take a photograph of this lovely theatre.

It’s hard to get a photograph that’s a little unique. Most photographs are taken directly opposite the theatre entrance and with a narrow street, the angles are very limited. I tried a photograph taken in the evening but it still ended up being the same as others. I came back during an afternoon and spent some time looking for an interesting angle.

A black and white photograph of Toowoomba's Empire Theatre.
"Empire Theatre"

My Thoughts

I have a colour version of this subject but the black and white treatment just seems to give the theatre something special.

I’m happy with the angle even thought it doesn’t show the rooftop sign very well. The sign on the awning is enough. The palm trees are an imposing element contributing to the art deco feel. It’s difficult (impossible) to get a photograph of the theatre without them.

Thank you for taking the time to read the story of this photograph.

Framing suggestion

With the black and white treatment, an off-white mat really draws the eye to the photograph.

We’ve tried a plain back frame and it really doesn’t make the image look its best. This photograph looks great with a slightly ornate frame.

For something different, we can print this photo on brushed aluminium.

A framed print of my Empire Theatre photograph.
My "Empire Theatre" photograph framed.
A photograph of the moulding used to frame my Empire Theatre photograph.
Megawood's Ornate Black moulding

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