Boulder Town Hall and the Goacher CurtainBoulder Town Hall & Goatcher Curtain


This beautifully preserved historic hall, with pressed tin ceiling and wrought iron balustrades, was opened on the 23rd of June 1908. It became famous as the host venue for celebrity performers such as Dame Nellie Melba and Eileen Joyce.

This multifaceted hall also operated as a library and municipal offices at various times during the 20th century and was the main focus of community life in Boulder.  The Goatcher Curtain is a priceless curtain depicting the Bay of Naples.

It has hung in the Boulder Town Hall since its opening in 1908 and is believed to be the last surviving example of a working Philip Goatcher stage curtain in situ.

Goatcher was paid 50 pounds in 1908 to paint the curtain as a drop canvas to complement and close the ‘picture frame’ stage of the Town Hall. Less than a year earlier he had painted the stage curtain at the Midland Town Hall.

This 6.25m x 8.45m work of one of the Victorian era’s greatest scenic painters was bought to the attention of the local council – torn in many places and the paint layer had become unstable and badly stained.

In 1997 the curtain was removed and transported to Sydney where it was stabilised at a cost of $200,000 by the council and the fundraising efforts of Boulder Hidden Secrets.

Phil W. Goatcher (as he signed his name) was nicknamed Satin ‘n’ Velvet for the lavish illusions he created for drop curtains that graced theatres from Paris to New York. Like many of Goatcher’s works, the curtains painted for Perth’s His Majesty’s Theatre were painted over in 1948.

The curtain is located inside the Boulder Town Hall, Burt Street, Boulder. Guided tours are held every Tuesday at 10.30am and the cost is $5.00 and goes for approximately one hour.The curtain can also be viewed on Boulder Market Days on  the 3rd Sunday of every month. 

Before there was any town called Boulder, hundreds of men travelled from Kalgoorlie to work in the mines to the south. One of the mines was called the “Great Boulder” and cab drivers touting their trade would shout “All the way to Boulder”. It was thus that Boulder found a name.

The famous head frames of the Golden Mile have given way to the new, cheaper technology of open pit gold mining. Vegetation covers the outer walls of the gigantic Super Pit where thousands once lived, loved, worked and raised children.

There are many families around Australia who remember wonderful stories of life here and pass them on o their children, for this area has produced stock which changed a nation. Step back into the old Boulder around the turn of the century and feel the warmth.

Golden Footsteps: Boulder’s Hidden Secrets is an interactive walk and accompanying booklet commemorating the people, places and events important in the history of Boulder.  

The booklet can be purchased from Tippett's cafe, Kalgoorlie- Boulder Visitor Centre or by contacting the BPDA - email     


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