Among a series of short films made by amateur filmmakers Bill and Bev Rahmann is a five minute film entitled Brisbane Retrospect.
Most likely made sometime during the 1970s, the Rahmanns look at the changing cityscape of Brisbane’s CBD and address their fear that the city’s architectural heritage could be compromised with ever expanding towers of office blocks. The film highlights several buildings which still exist today – Parliament House, The Mansions, the Queensland Club, Customs House, St Martin’s Hospital, City Hall and the Breakfast Creek Chinese Joss House.
Also featured, but no longer standing, is the beautiful Bellevue Hotel, which once stood on the corner of George and Alice Streets. Built ca.1885, the building was controversially demolished overnight on 20 April 1979. Prophetically the film contains a dramatized scene of a man dressed as a demolition worker armed with a sledgehammer as he slowly approaches the Bellevue. This then cuts to sounds of a building collapsing.
Among some of the newer buildings appearing in the film is the T&G Building in Queen Street (built in 1970) and the recently demolished 15-storey Executive Building (built in 1971).
27 October is World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, a day to honor audiovisual preservation professionals and institutions who safeguard this heritage for future generations. This year, State Library of Queensland embarked on the Reel Rescue project to save more than 4000 fragile film and videos in our collection with the help of donor support.