Metropolis: Modern Brisbane is a silent 15 minute film showing a day in the life of the city in 1940.
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.
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.
The viewer is also treated some late night window shopping along Queen Street.
You can watch Metropolis: Modern Brisbane via our One Search catalogue.
Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland