King William Street, Adelaide

King William Street is the part of a major arterial road that traverses the CBD and centre of Adelaide, continuing as King William Road to the north of North Terrace and south of Greenhill Road; between South Terrace and Greenhill Road it is called Peacock Road. At approximately 40 metres (130 ft) wide, King William Street is the widest main street of all the Australian State capital cities. Named after King William IV in 1837, it is historically considered one of Adelaide's high streets, for its focal point of businesses, shops and other prominent establishments. The Glenelg tram line runs along the middle of the street through the city centre.

King William Street

King William Road, Peacock Road

King William Street-Adelaide.jpg
King William Street, looking north from Victoria Square, February 2009
Coordinates
General information
TypeStreet
LocationAdelaide city centre
Length5.9 km (3.7 mi)[1]
Opened1837
Major junctions
North endO'Connell Street
North Adelaide
 
South endNorthgate Street
Unley Park, Adelaide
Location(s)
LGA(s)City of Adelaide

HistoryEdit

 
King William Street in 1909.

King William Street was named by the Street Naming Committee on 23 May 1837 after King William IV, the then reigning monarch, who died within a month.[2] It is historically considered one of Adelaide's high streets, for its focal point of businesses, shops and other prominent establishments.[citation needed]

In August 1977, the first bus lane in Adelaide opened along King William Street from Victoria Square to North Terrace.[3]

DescriptionEdit

The name King William is applied several times to the continuous stretch of road that begins in the inner southern suburbs and terminates in North Adelaide. Where it runs through the Adelaide city centre from South Terrace to North Terrace, it is named "King William Street"; elsewhere it is named "King William Road".[4]

It starts in the south as King William Road, at the north edge of Heywood Park in Unley Park, and runs through Hyde Park and Unley to Greenhill Road.[4] The road through the south parklands is named Peacock Road after Caleb Peacock who was Mayor of Adelaide from 1875 to 1877.[5] Through the Adelaide city centre it is King William Street and continues north from North Terrace as King William Road to Brougham Place, North Adelaide.[4]

At approximately 40 metres (130 ft) wide, King William Street is the widest main street of all the Australian State capital cities.[citation needed]

The road continues north to National Highway 1 as O'Connell Street, but the name King William is not again used. The northern section called King William Road (connecting the Adelaide city centre with North Adelaide) passes several of Adelaide's landmarks, including Government House, Elder Park, the Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Oval and St Peter's Cathedral. The section from North Terrace over the Adelaide Bridge to Pennington Terrace was named King William Road at the opening of the bridge in 1877.[6]

 
King William Street in 1973. The elaborate Commonwealth Bank building on the right has since been demolished, as have the two buildings next to it.

Until the 1960s, trams used King William Street as a major backbone of the network, with a grand union junction at North Terrace and only one pair of tracks missing between Grenfell and Currie Streets.[7] When most of the tram lines were dismantled in the 1950s, only the Glenelg tram line remained, and it used King William Street between South Terrace and its terminus at Victoria Square.[8]

In 2007, the tram line was extended to run the full length of King William Street again, turning left onto North Terrace and terminating at Adelaide railway station, later extended westwards via Port Road to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. In 2018, another expansion of the tram routes replaced the turn at the intersection of North Terrace and King William Street with a junction, and a short spur to a stop outside the Adelaide Festival Centre as well as an eastward extension along North Terrace to the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Tracks go in all four directions, but not all turning movements are supported.[9]

Historic buildingsEdit

King's Theatre / BallroomEdit

The King's Theatre, at no. 318,[10] was designed by the brothers-in-law David Williams (1856–1940) and Charles Thomas Good (1864–1926), who, working in their practice Williams & Good, also designed the New Tivoli Theatre (later Her Majesty's.[11] The theatre was located on the north-east corner of King William and Carrington Streets, with main entrances on both, opened in February 1911 and closed in 1928. It had a seating capacity of 1500, on seats upholstered in blue velvet. Its proscenium arch was 26 ft (7.9 m) by 28 ft (8.5 m).[12] It was built by Messrs Tolley.[13][14] Intended mainly for vaudeville performances, the theatre was however reported to be a poor venue, "plagued by poor sightlines and inadequate ventilation".[15] Adelaide Repertory Theatre staged at least two performances there, in 1919.[16] The ceiling and other features of the theatre were damaged by fire on 26 September 1927.[17]

The theatre was sold by Majestic Amusements (who had bought it from Fuller Theatres Ltd) in February 1928 to Mr P. J. A. Lawrence,[13] and closed for remodelling on 28 March 1928, when it was completely rebuilt into a two-storey building. A large ballroom occupied the lower floor,[a] buffered with rubber,[12] The building was opened as the Kings Ballroom on 22 August 1928[19] (also referred to as the King's Theatre Ballroom, and Golden Ballroom[20][21]).[18] With its entrance in Carrington Street, the ballroom was open to "suitably attired" members of the public each Wednesday and Saturday night,[22] and competitions were held there.[23]

A serious fire forced closure in 1975, after which it remained vacant for several years, eventually being transformed into legal offices in the 1980s.[12]

Majestic / Warner TheatreEdit

 
Commonwealth Bank & Warner Theatre (formerly Majestic), July 1980. Both buildings have since been demolished.

The building at 100 King William Street[10] was also designed by Williams & Good.[11] It was constructed in 1848, comprising a hotel and concert hall commissioned by proprietor George White and designed by George Strickland Kingston. White's Adelaide Assembly and Concert Room opened on 26 June 1856. It was refitted as Garner's Theatre (proprietor Alfred Garner) in 1886, with decorations by George Gordon. It was taken over by new proprietor Tommy Hudson, and renamed Hudson's Bijou in 1892. In 1900, Harry Rickards purchased the building and reopened it as the Tivoli Theatre,[b] which operated briefly as a cinema, called the Star Theatre.[10]

The Majestic Theatre opened as a picture theatre on 3 June 1916, having undergone a conversion costing £18,000.[10] It stood alongside the Majestic Hotel, and was described as "the most modern theatre in Adelaide" in that year. It was one of the city's leading picture theatres until 1967, when it was renovated and became the Celebrity Theatre and Restaurant. Two years later it was reinvented as a cinema and live theatre, called the Warner Theatre,[24][25] owned by City Projects Pty Ltd from 1969.[10] Notable performances at the Warner include the Eleo Pomare Dance Company of New York City in 1972,[26] Don's Party in 1975,[27] and The Rocky Horror Show in 1977.[28][10] Rocky Horror only ran for around two months as it was not a successful production.[29]

The theatre finally closed on 31 March 1979.[24][25] Both the old theatre and hotel and the Commonwealth Bank buildings (both on the eastern side of the street) were demolished in 1980.[30]

Junctions and street name changesEdit

Between North Terrace and South Terrace, all east-west roads change their names as they cross King William Street. It is said this is because no one was allowed to "cross the path of a monarch".[2] Travelling south from North Terrace, the street pairs are:[31]

West
Terrace ↓
Morphett
Street ↓
King
William
Street ↓
Pulteney
Street ↓
East
Terrace ↓
Designed
width
North
Terrace
North
Terrace
North
Terrace
North
Terrace
4-lane
Hindley
Street
Hindley
Street
Rundle
Mall
Rundle
Street
2-lane
Currie
Street
Light
Square
Currie
Street
Grenfell
Street
Hindmarsh
Square
Grenfell
Street
4-lane
Waymouth
Street
Waymouth
Street
Pirie
Street
Pirie
Street
2-lane
Franklin
Street
Franklin
Street
Victoria

Square
Flinders
Street
Flinders
Street
4-lane
Grote
Street
Grote
Street
Wakefield
Street
Wakefield
Street
6-lane
Gouger
Street
Gouger
Street
Angas
Street
Angas
Street
4-lane
Wright
Street
Whitmore
Square
Wright
Street
Carrington
Street
Hurtle
Square
Carrington
Street
2-lane
Sturt
Street
Sturt
Street
Halifax
Street
Halifax
Street
4-lane
Gilbert
Street
Gilbert
Street
Gilles
Street
Gilles
Street
2-lane
South
Terrace
South
Terrace
South
Terrace
South
Terrace
4-lane

In popular cultureEdit

King William Road was referenced in the John Schumann song "Hyde Park Calling (King William Road Scene 1)" on the 1993 album True Believers.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

  Australian Roads portal

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Needs checking - photo looks as if it was more likely to be on the upper floor.[18]
  2. ^ Not to be confused with the New Tivoli, built in 1913, later Her Majesty's Theatre.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Google (1 June 2022). "King William Street" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b "History of Adelaide through street names – Street Names". www.historysouthaustralia.net. Archived from the original on 27 August 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  3. ^ Bus Only Lane in King William Street Among Ourselves issue 177 October 1977 page 9
  4. ^ a b c 2003 Adelaide Street Directory, 41st Edition. UBD (A Division of Universal Press Pty Ltd). 2003. ISBN 0-7319-1441-4.
  5. ^ "Nomenclature of the Streets of Adelaide and North Adelaide" (PDF) – via State Library of South Australia.
  6. ^ "OPENING OF THE ADELAIDE BRIDGE". South Australian Register. Adelaide. 17 May 1877. p. 3 Supplement: Supplement to the South Australian Register. Retrieved 9 December 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Trolley Wire" (PDF). South Pacific Pacific Electric Railway Co-operative Society Limited. August 1992. p. 5. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  8. ^ Prosser, Candice (1 December 2017). "Curious Adelaide: Why was Adelaide's tram network ripped up in the 1950s?". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  9. ^ Gailberger, Jade (22 November 2017). "Government tries explaining why Adelaide trams could turn right 100 years ago — but not now". The Advertiser. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f P.L. (15 October 2017). "SA Heritage & the Entertainment Industry: Theatres in the Central Business District". Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  11. ^ a b "Architect Details: David Williams". Architects of South Australia. University of South Australia. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  12. ^ a b c Adelaide Remember When (21 July 2014). "Just been reading "Lost Theatres of Adelaide" by Louise Harris from the Department of Archaeology, Flinders University..." Facebook. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  13. ^ a b "King's Theatre sold". The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 2 February 1928. p. 10. Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ "Carrington Street, Adelaide (1928)" (photo + caption). State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  15. ^ "Adelaide Entertainment Royalty". Wakefield Press (Australia). 24 March 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  16. ^ "Adelaide Repertory Theatre". AusStage. 2 September 2021. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  17. ^ "City fire". West Coast Sentinel. Vol. XV, no. 791. South Australia. 30 September 1927. p. 1. Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  18. ^ a b "Carrington Street, Adelaide (1929)" (photo + caption). State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  19. ^ "New Adelaide ballroom". News (Adelaide). Vol. XI, no. 1, 591. South Australia. 20 August 1928. p. 2 (HOME EDITION). Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  20. ^ "King's Theatre Ballroom". The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 6 November 1929. p. 7. Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  21. ^ "Golden Ballroom". The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 16 November 1929. p. 17. Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  22. ^ "The King's Ballroom". The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 20 August 1928. p. 9. Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  23. ^ "Championship reveals fine dancing". The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 27 October 1932. p. 10. Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  24. ^ a b Byrne, Bob. "Bob Byrne remembers the old theatres of #Adelaide". The Advertiser.
  25. ^ a b "Majestic Theatre in Adelaide, AU". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  26. ^ "Keepers of the legacy: Eleo Pomare's map of artistic social justice and protest". The University of Newcastle, Australia. 31 May 2021. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  27. ^ "Don's party, by David Williamson : [theatre program], NIDA/Jane St. Production. [catalog entry]". State Library of South Australia catalogue. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  28. ^ "Rocky Horror Picture Show" (Photo). State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  29. ^ "The Adelaide Cast 1977". Rocky Horror Australia. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  30. ^ "Majestic Hotel and Commonwealth Bank buildings" (Photo + text). State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  31. ^ Map of the Adelaide city centre, North Adelaide and the Adelaide Parklands.