Arts Hall

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The Arts Hall was a popular venue for various artistic uses including the staging of plays and concerts and is located in St George's Park at the junction of Rink Street and Park Drive, Port Elizabeth.

1 Founding and early history

The Arts Hall was opened on December 7, 1927, by the Port Elizabeth Mayor, Councillor A H Brookes, in time for the opening of the ninth annual exhibition of the Eastern Province Society of Arts and Crafts (EPSAC). The Hall was designed by the architectural firm of Jones and McWilliams and was the first venue in Port Elizabeth which had proper lighting. It turned out to be a very useful building. A companion building, the King George VI Art Gallery, was intended to commemorate the 1947 visit of the Royal Family but owing to a shortage of funds it was only opened on June 22, 1956, by Councillor J G Young.

2 Aims and function

3 Current Status

EPSAC moved out of the building and purchased a house in Western Road which they then converted into an art gallery. The Arts Hall is now part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Art Museum.

4 Impact on SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

A three-act comedy, Anthony and Anna, by St John G Ervine and produced by Mrs Gibson Lochhead, was staged at the Arts Hall on August 3 - 5, 1939. The proceeds were in aid of the YMCA Building Fund.

In 1952 The Company of Four produced Antigone by Jean Anouilh.

5 Sources

Margaret Harradine. 1995. Port Elizabeth: A Social Chronicle to the End of 1945. Port Elizabeth: E.H. Walton Packaging (Pty) Ltd.

Anthony and Anna theatre programme, 1939.

6 Return to

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