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Photo:- Graham Shirley

Princess Theatre, 8 Annerley Road, Woolloongabba


The building originally opened as the South Brisbane Public Hall on 6 April 1889. After being used for various other purposes under various names it became the Princess Theatre in 1894. It was occupied by a clothing factory in 1889 and was also used at the same time as a theatre and vaudeville house. Films were shown at the Princess Theater from 1914 to 1942 and it was also occasionally used by amateur theater groups.

From 1942 to 1945 the Princess Theatre was used as the administrative and rehearsal centre for the United States Entertainment Unit (possibly the US Army's Special Services group). The building continued to be used by other public theatre, dance groups, boxing matches and other public meetings.

Meetings of all Air Raid Wardens in Brisbane were held at various locations on Monday 18 May 1942 to receive special instructions for an Air Raid Drill to be held the next morning. Air Raid Wardens for the Police Divisions of Woolloongabba, Bulimba, East Brisbane, Hemmant, Kangaroo Point, Morningside, Oxley, West End and Wynnum met in the Princess Theater at Annerley Road at 8pm that night.

At an ARP meeting at the Princess Theater on the evening of 25 June 1942, Captain W. Rutherford of the A.I.F. emphasised to ARP Wardens and Civil Defence personnel that gas attacks were still likely in Australia. He went to to provide measures to be taken in the event of being splashed with Mustard gas or Lewisite.

An American Independence Day rally was held at the Princess Theater on 4 July 1942. Mrs Jean MacArthur, wife of General Douglas MacArthur attended the event along with various U.S. Army Officers.

The Woolloongabba Air Raid Precautions No. 7 Sub-division used to meet monthly for lectures etc in the Princess Theatre. The South Brisbane Air Raid Precautions group attended a screening of a UXB film in the Princess Theatre on the evening of 18 January 1943.



I'd like to thanks Graham Shirley for his assistance with this web page.



The Courier Mail (Brisbane) 18 May 1942

The Telegraph (Brisbane) 23 June 1942

The Courier Mail (Brisbane) 26 June 1942

The Courier Mail (Brisbane) 4 July 1942

The Telegraph (Brisbane) 18 January 1943


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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 14 April 2016

This page last updated 15 April 2016