His Majesty’s Theatre Perth Interior at the time of its opening, His Majesty’s Theatre was the largest theatre in Australia,and also featured the country’s largest stage and highest fly tower. The complex was constructed with reinforced concrete, and was the first reinforced concrete building in Perth and, possibly, in Australia. The structure is 4-storeys tall, and its features were influenced by 19th-century English and European theatres.It has been described as “a fine example” of Federation Free Classical or Edwardian Baroque architecture.
The building as designed by Wolfe was grander than Molloy’s Theatre Royal complex, and featured a 65-room hotel separated from the theatre by internal iron doors. The hotel had billiard rooms, parlours and six bars to serve the patrons of the theatre.The building used 272 tonnes (600,000 lb) of iron and steel, 3.75 million locally made bricks, imported marble, Minton tiles and Castlemaine slate. An electric lift led to the roof, where anobservation platform had panoramic views over the town.
The auditorium contained a proscenium arch, with a raked stage 20 by 23 metres (66 by 75 ft) in size.The auditorium measured 23 by 21 metres (75 by 69 ft),and its original capacity was 2584 people in three tiers.The interior of the theatre was a typical Edwardian horseshoe-shape to bring the audience closer to the performers. It featured stalls (seating 974), a dress circle (seating 540), an upper gallery (seating 1,074) and private boxes.
Over its first 70 years of life, His Majesty’s played host to the traditional Shakespearean plays, opera, political rallies, boxing matches and movie screenings.It was particularly noted for its excellent acoustics.During World War II, the theatre functioned chiefly as a cinema due to travel restrictions on touring companies.