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5 February 1882 From Sunday School to Q Theatre

 5 February 1882   From Sunday School to Q Theatre

On 5 February 1882 new rooms at the Sunday School at 87-89 Halifax Street were opened. The rooms were added on to the three year old building owned by Stow Church to cope with the increased attendance. By 1890 477 children were taught religious instruction by 23 teachers. In the early 20th century the building became a centre for missionary work, particularly during the Depression. After World War II activities there gradually declined and from 1956 it was leased to various companies.

In 1970 it took on an entirely new role, the one for which it is best remembered, for it was transformed into the Q Theatre by local actors Don and Betty Quin. Betty Quin worked in London for the BBC and commercial television as a scriptwriter and producer. Back in Adelaide she was a regular contributor to television shows as well as writing more than 30 full length and one-act plays.

The theatre could seat 150 patrons on seats acquired from the old Theatre Royal. The Q opened on 29 April 1970 with Betty Quin's prize-winning play 'The Dinkum Bambino'. In 1972 Robert Stigwood, the well-known theatrical entrepreneur from Adelaide, sent seven large paintings of actors from the famous Garrick Theatre in London to decorate the foyer. With declining audiences later in the 1970s the theatre was forced to close in the early 1980s. Later it was revived by John Edmund as the John Edmund Theatre. Betty Quin died on 28 August 1993 at the age of 70.

Susan Marsden, Paul Stark, Patricia Sumerling (eds), Heritage of the City of Adelaide, Corporation of the City of Adelaide, 1990, pp.
Expression Australasia,   Volume 12 No 4, September 1973.
Advertiser , 23 June 1972, p. 6.
Advertiser, 31 August 1993, p. 16.

Tags: Q Theatre