Dance Hall and Picture Palace: Sydney's Romance with Modernity

Author(s): Jill Julius Matthews


This book paints Sydney between the depressions of the 1890s and the 1930s as a prosperous city riding an international wave of modernism. In the pub, parlour and pulpit, people clashed over the significance of moving pictures, jazz, new dance crazes, the radio, gramophone records and cheap magazines. Conventional accounts of the Australian film industry at the beginning of the twentieth century focus on the impact of Hollywood on local production. But in this vibrant history, the author shows how moving pictures captured the imagination of Sydneys people and transformed how they thought about the world. Jill Julius Matthews describes how in Sydney, as elsewhere, young flappers came to embody both glamour and decadence in modern city life. She uncovers entrepreneurs bribing politicians as they aggressively pursued profits for their American patrons and reveals the innovative marketing techniques that provoked cultural elites to deplore commercialisation.


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Jill Julius Matthews

Introduction; Part 1: The Romance of City Life - Modernising Sydney; The Truth About Modern Girls. Part 2: The Romance of Business - Of Machines & Markets; The Magnates; Protecting American Interests. Part 3: The Romance of Civilisation - Heroes of Civilisation; To Encourage the Good & the Beautiful. Conclusion.

General Fields

  • : 9780868197555
  • : Currency Press Pty Ltd
  • : Currency Press Pty Ltd
  • : February 2005
  • : 150mm X 230mm
  • : Australia
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 342
  • : b/w photos
  • : Jill Julius Matthews
  • : Paperback
  • : 994.4