Metro cinema, Johannesburg. The Metro Theatre was situated at the corner of Bree and Von Brandis Streets, Johannesburg and was opened by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on 4th November 1932. It would become the largest four-wall cinema in South Africa with a seating capacity of 2800. Photo above was taken in 1934 during the run of 'Treasure Island' starring Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper.
Empire Johannesburg. The Empire Theatre was situated in Commissioner Street at the corner of Kruis Street - diagonally opposite the Colosseum Theatre. It was a very impressive building and opened in September 1936 to form part of the African Consolidated Theatres chain. The very stately and ornate auditorium had both stalls and circle seating and when used as a cinema
Cinerama Cinema, Johannesburg. The Cinerama Theatre was situated in Claim Street, Johannesburg and opened in April 1961. Its seating capacity was 993. The theatre was closed on 27 February 1986 and converted into a discotheque.
Being a flagship cinema, the Colosseum employed a concierge (who controlled the queues - informing patrons about the availability of seats) at least six doormen and a large number of usherettes - all decked out in maroon-coloured uniforms. During the 1960s Ms. Lou Botha was the head usherette, Mr. Van Der Linde the chief projectionist and the cinema was managed by the distinguished George Seymour. After Seymour's death he was succeeded by Henry Ascar.
20th Century Johannesburg. The decor could be described as 'modern contemporary' and certainly not atmospheric. The auditorium was decorated by Ernest Ullmann who used a giant relief map of the world on the auditorium walls as a symbolic figure of moving entertainment covering the hemispheres.