by Doris Fitton
THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE will celebrate its 40th birthday on Saturday, 30th May, 1970. During these forty years we have played continuously. With the foundation of the theatre a selected company of actors and actresses was gathered, all pledged to serve our theatre in the finest sense in plays of world standard. The policy was "Every Saturday night in a city theatre."
To gain a permanent audience a membership drive was launched and by our opening performance at the St. James' Hall, Phillip Street, Sydney, on Saturday, 3rd August, 1930, we had enrolled 100 regular supporters. Membership rose steadily over the next ten years to 700. During our forty years of continuous playing our main aim has been the
preservation of the world's finest plays and the development, training and encouragement of Australian talent in every form of theatre. We have now presented over 400 plays.
In January, 1931 we transferred to the Savoy Theatre, Bligh Street, Sydney where we played every Saturday night for 61/2 years. In 1937 we moved to the Conservatorium of Music, having lost the Savoy Theatre to cinema interests. It was then we commenced to search for our own theatre and in 1939 we took a giant step and moved to our own building in North Sydney. We have played continuously at the Independent Theatre for the past 30 years, having the good fortune to purchase the building, by public subscription, in 1945.
As time went on we increased our weekly performances and ultimately entered the field of professional theatre.