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On Display: Concert-going in the 70s!

A historical archive of memorabilia from the early 1970s on display now on our 3rd level for a limited time.


Let us set the scene! The year is 1973, and Perth dignitaries took centre stage at the Gala Opening of Perth Concert Hall on the morning of Australia Day. Governor General Sir Paul Hasluck was there. So, too, were Lord Mayor Sir Earnest Lee-Steere, Premier John Tonkin and Leader of the Opposition, Sir Charles Court. Adding to the scene was Gough Whitlam, making his first visit to the West as our newly elected Labor Prime Minister. Sections of the audience booed apparently when Gough and his wife Margaret walked out on to the concert platform. Fashions of the Seventies were everywhere to be seen. That night the West Australian Symphony Orchestra combined with the South Australian Symphony Orchestra to perform the inaugural concert under the baton of Tibor Paul. The day ended with a Candlelight Ball on the back Terrace. This momentous event is recalled in a fascinating selection of programs and photographs and even gilt edged invitations - all on display in two beautifully assembled showcases on Level Three.

This special display has been made possible by local historian and archivist, Ivan King. As the founder of the Museum of Performing Arts housed Downstairs at His Majesty's Theatre, Ivan has further created, to date, 54 exhibitions highlighting the history of entertainment in Perth. In 2009 he was given the Premier’s Award for Active Citizenship and in 2016 he received a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the performing art.

Whether you're planning your visit to the Hall to an upcoming WASO performance, or maybe you've booked yourself and some friends a venue tour- whatever the reason for your visit, we wanted to shine a light on this display that's been holding a place of importance on our 3rd level. The photographs and history are all laid out in a brilliant display and will transport you back to this point in time - come and have a peek for yourself! 

Here's a preview of the display cases, now open to the public during business hours and during performances. 

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