Metropolis: Modern Brisbane – 1940 film

Metropolis: Modern Brisbane is a silent 15 minute film showing a day in the life of the city in 1940.

Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

The footage includes a number of busy CBD street scenes with cars and trams going about their business as well as shots of Brisbane’s notable landmarks and buildings, including City Hall, Story Bridge, Grey Street Bridge (William Jolly Bridge), the Old Windmill, St John’s Cathedral, St Martin’s Hospital and the Metro Theatre.

Old Windmill, Spring Hill. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Old Windmill, Spring Hill. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Outside the Metro Theatre, Brisbane. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Outside the Metro Theatre, Brisbane. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Metropolis: Modern Brisbane also features several extended sequences, such as the Anzac Day ceremony at the Shrine of Remembrance in ANZAC Square and footage of two theatrical performances on stage. The first performance shows a group of five acrobats. Although the film does not name the troupe or the theatre it is likely to be the Five Cleveres, who performed at Brisbane’s Regent Theatre in May 1940. The second performance captured on the film is identified as Ice Follies, a touring ice show from Switzerland, who performed in Brisbane in August 1940 at His Majesty’s Theatre.

Five Cleveres performing at the Regent Theatre, Brisbane, 1940. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Five Cleveres performing at the Regent Theatre, Brisbane, 1940. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Ice Follies performing at His Majesty's Theatre, Brisbane, 1940. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Ice Follies performing at His Majesty’s Theatre, Brisbane, 1940. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

The viewer is also treated some late night window shopping along Queen Street.

Shop window. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Shop window. Still from Metropolis : modern Brisbane, 1940. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

You can watch Metropolis: Modern Brisbane via our One Search catalogue.

Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland