Bad seating and the flirt


We recommend you bring your own cushion

Apparently everyone but us knew the above building on Eighth Avenue Maylands used to be a cinema. We should have guessed from the shape of the rear of the place, but we didn’t. In any case, welcome to the Lyric Theatre.

Opening on 31 August 1923, there was a small hiccup because the circle had not yet been inspected for safety regulations, so only the ground floor was available. This didn’t stop the owners, though, who weren’t going to put off showing their opening flick, ‘The Flirt’.

This pre-Hays Code movie was based on the best-selling novel by Booth Tarkington. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find out much about it (many films of this era are now lost, and this may be one of them). But it was remade in 1931 as ‘The Bad Sister’ which marked the screen debut of Bette Davis, who apparently had eyes. If you have a spare hour, enjoy it here:

It wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Lyric, and in 1949 patrons complained that management had raised ticket prices despite torn seats with springs protruding through the covers. The theatre was unmoved, claiming customers should be grateful the seating was upholstered at all.

The Lyric closed in June 1961, after which it became an electrical goods showroom, then a growers’ market, a Red Shield Op-shop, a BWS, and now hosts a coffee shop, which makes a great skinny flat white as we found out this morning.

As Maylands continues to bloom perhaps it’s time for a micro cinema in memory of the Lyric. But with better seating.

Duel purpose

duelling“The horrid and murderous system of duelling has found its way to this Colony under the hypocritical name of honour.” So said Joseph Hardey, who built Tranby House on the Maylands Peninsula.

Hardey referred to the only duel in Western Australian history—that between George French Johnson and William Nairne Clark.

George, a Fremantle merchant, had been at loggerheads with William, a solicitor, for some time. Heated insults were often exchanged between the pair.

Matters came to a head on Thursday, 16 August 1832. William once again approached George and insulted him in front of several witnesses. At the time George said nothing, but simply walked away.

But the next day William was informed George wished to settle the argument in a duel. The challenge was accepted and the place was fixed at the back of house near Cantonment Hill, Fremantle.

At the appointed hour next evening, the two duellists selected their pistols, went to opposite parts of the yard and, standing side-on, fired when the signal was given.

George fell instantly, with a gaping wound in his thigh. A doctor was hurried to the scene and the wounded man taken to hospital. But just twenty-four hours later he died.

William was immediately arrested and tried for murder. Strangely, and despite the rigid laws governing duelling, he was found not guilty.

Hello ladies, now look at your man


How the Dodgy Perth team imagine they look

Do you remember the ads with Isaiah Mustafa proving all you need to become a manly man is deodorant? Well it turns out daily use of Old Spice would stop you getting to first base with Cottesloe stenographer, Gladys Smith.

In 1947, Australian perfume manufacturers tried to open up a new market. Noting that American men used scents, but no Aussie male was, Perth residents were asked how they like a bloke to smell.

Our beautiful Cottesloe stenographer thought that scented soap and hair oil for men was revolting. “Scent”, she firmly declared, “is for women.”

Perhaps her friend, Miss Myers from Nedlands, will appreciate a nice body spray. No. A man who smells of perfume is a “sissy”.

Time to move on. Let’s ask a married woman, Mrs Milford of St Georges Terrace. “When my husband and I went to live in America, we were disgusted to find the men using scented oil on their hair,” she sneered.

Perhaps we should just ask the blokes, rather than the ladies. We can’t imagine Vic Park hairdresser B. N. Bullivant  disapproving. “I do not think scent suits an Australian,” he said. “The average Australian does not buy scented soap unless there is no other.”

And an East Fremantle baker, T. Wilson, just laughed at the idea. Pansies, he said. A scented man is a pansy.

So there you have it folks. Now we just have to update our Ashley Madison profiles to reflect our new non-scented status.