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Limelight Attic Studio

Architect: 1888

City of Melbourne | C28

Building Description

The attic photographic Studio atop 69 Bourke Street is the star in the crown that is the elegant Victorian structure built originally for the YMCA in 1890, but lost to them in the great depression of the early 1890s. Soon after The Salvation Army acquired 69 Bourke Street in 1894, the attic had its roof raised and operated as a commercial photographic studio. It was the home of the Limelight Department and magic lantern slides were produced there for the Limelight Department’s touring “Lantern Lectures”. For a short time in 1897 the attic studio was the Limelight Department’s motion picture studio, producing the kinomatographe films that lead The Salvation Army becoming a pioneer in motion picture production and the first registered motion picture studios in Australasia. The attic studio has been reclaimed from 100 year of neglect and non-use, and today it looks much as it did back in the days of limelight. But now it operates as a museum displaying original contemporary photographs, lantern slides and equipment produced and operated by the incredibly creative Captain Joseph Perry and his Limelight Department Staff. Step back into antiquity and experience the studio where the famed Limelight Depart began.

What's On

Guided tour of the old “Limelight Studio” with an introduction to Australia’s pioneering film production by the Salvation Army between 1897 and 1909.

Need to Know

  • Open: Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July 10am–4pm

  • Tour Type: Open Entry, Guided

  • Tour Details: Tours at 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm, running 20 minutes in groups of 15

  • Access: Limited mobility, 18 years and above

  • Notes: Expect queues

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Architecture Era: Victorian (1851-1901)

  • Transport: Tram stop 9: Spring St/Bourke Ston routes 86 and 96

  • Photo Credit: Courtesy of Limelight Attic Studio


69 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000, Melbourne VIC


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