Collins Street

Collins Street, Melbourne: variety, versatility and style for the best wedding day photographs!

Collins Street is one of the finest examples of the sophistication and glamour Melbourne has to offer. Encompassing an inspiring selection of Melbourne favourite churches, theatres, restaurants, and grand hotels, Collins Street is deservedly a sought after destination for uniquely elegant wedding day photography. Serendipity Photography always love capturing wedding celebrations in the beautiful Collins Street, as well as displaying some of Melbourne’s most awe-inspiring design, this location has endless variety and style, making it the perfect location for many wedding styles and themes!

Collins Street has not only one style but hundreds from every period of Melbourne’s rich history, giving you myriad opportunities for wedding photographs with a classic or vintage feel. Parts of Collins St skyline has remained unchanged since the 1800s, and buildings such as the Regent Theatre built in 1929 has gorgeous views across Gordon Reserve. Check out our page: Collins Street– A history, for more extensive information.

The Regent!

The gorgeous Regent Theatre opened on Collins Street on the 15th March, 1929 by Francis W. Thring, as the leading theatre in Melbourne. It was later sold to Hoyts, and with 3,250 seats, the Regent was the second largest theatre in the state. The theatre was equipped with a Wurlitzer organ, and also had an underground ballroom called the Plaza.

Just 16 years later the theatre was destroyed by fire, and in 1947 reconstruction was completed and reopened to the public on 19th December. By the 1960’s the theatre was replaced by the Hoyts Cinema Centre in Bourke Street. In 1970 Hoyts eventually closed the cinema for good, and in December of the same year an auction was held to sell off the contents of the theatre, raising a few thousand dollars.

The ‘Save the Regent’ committee was formed to try to prevent the demolition of the grand and historic building. After years of conflict between the committee, the Melbourne City Council and the National Trust, in 1977, Victorian premier Rupert Hamer stepped in and named the Regent a landmark, thereby preventing its destruction. Legislation was then passed for its protection and $2 million was lent by the state to restore and maintain the building.

For 26 years the Regent lay derelict, and the Plaza’s interior was, sadly, gutted as part of the City Square project and today only the original ceiling remains. The interior of the Regent was, however, restored to its original glory. Entrepreneur, David Marinner established a revival movement for performing arts theatres in 1991, as part of a plan to promote Melbourne as the performing arts capital. He worked perilously on the theatre’s restoration and at the end of 3 years of redevelopment, the Regent was finally reopened on August 17 1996

The beautiful faced of the Regent is near identical to Sydney’s Regent theatre, which was sadly demolished. It was built in the Renaissance Revival style and makes for a very glamourous and grand backdrop for wedding location photography. Being one of few heritage theatres left in Melbourne, the Regent has a truly unique past that appears to burst with energy from the existing walls, creating a fantastic ambience for photographs full of theatrical class for your wedding album.


Farewell to Le Lourve!

After almost 70 years Le Lourve has left Collins Street. It will be remembered as a Melbourne icon, full of grace and charm. 74 Collins St remains a wonderful photographic location, with 1927 “Georgian” copper façade and large windows giving wonderful opportunities for wedding couples to step in the 30’s or play with the immediate post war ambience.

A quote from The National Trust : “Le Louvre, an 1855 townhouse altered in 1927, is of historical and architectural importance at the State level. Socially, Le Louvre is well known as the last exclusive couture establishment in Collins Street, and as one of the institutions that helps to define Melbourne’s distinctive character as a place of elegance, refinement, and with an appreciation of history and tradition.

Historically, Le Louvre was the shop for Melbourne’s élite from the 1950s to the 1970s, and its equally famous proprietor Lillian Wightman helped to introduce high fashion European designers to an increasingly cosmopolitan and discerning clientele”.

At Serendipity Photography we love the soft sheen of the copper and reflective windows, an endlessly mutable backdrop for romance or seduction, where the golds and reds can be dark and fiery or sent softly pale. Le Louvre we salute you! Ave atque vale.

Further down Collins Street at number 333 sits the incredible Dome of the Commercial Bank of Australia. Originally built in 1891, this stunning old Italian-Baroque inspired room is full of opulence and grandeur. The domed chamber is perfect for wedding photography, with light flooding in through the central light well of the ceiling and golden lamps illuminating the intricate detailing of the arches, cornices and doorways. The Dome is the perfect backdrop for spectacular wedding photography if you’re looking for the glamour and elaborate styling of times long ago. Have a look at our page on the Dome for more information about its history and potential as a fantastic wedding photography location!

Block Arcade!

One of the finest examples of 19th century architecture in Melbourne is the famous Block Arcade. It has a number of wonderful features that all come together with elegance and grace to create a beautiful backdrop for wedding photography. The impressive etched glass roof with gorgeous wrought iron and timber supports allow stunning natural light to flood in, casting a warm glow across photographs. The Block Arcade has the largest mosaic floor in Australia and the sound of couple’s footsteps clicking across the tiles brings back nostalgic memories of the past.

The Block Arcade is a National Trust location, designed for financier Benjamin Fink by architect D.C. Askew. It was constructed in two sections, the first half in 1891 and completed in 1893. Although originally named Carpenter’s lane, the arcade was renamed Block Arcade after the tradition named ‘doing the block’, which referred to the act of swanning around Melbourne’s most fashionable shopping streets. The arcade has been restored to its original state in recent years, and now forms a kind of portal back through Melbourne’s heritage. It’s glamour and intricate detailing work together to create an exquisite ambience.


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