The 3Arts Village was officially opened last November with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by some of the Quibell family who are past owners of the Plumstead landmark. However, it wasn’t quite complete.
One year ago, developers of the shopping mall, Rapfund Investments, commissioned a visual display to tell the story of 3Arts through the ages.
That display, along with mounted images of old souvenir programmes from the time when 3Arts was theatre, were installed in the middle of last month.
“We wanted the piece to be more than just a simple history board and actually wanted it to be an art installation,” said Rapfund chief financial officer Trish-Lynn Riley. “So we spent much time researching, designing and reworking the story history board with the designer Taryn Gaylard, from Taryn Long Design Studio.”
The first shows at 3Arts Theatre were held in 1968, the year it opened, so anything from 1968 until it was last used for performances was what they were looking for.
“We went to the Western Cape Archives, the National Library and used materials provided by the Quibell family. We also invited the public to contribute and received a number of souvenir programmes from Ernest Bew, husband of the former Plumstead ward councillor; David Christopher Travis Smith; and Annette Elliott. We actually received so many that we felt it best to have them displayed separately on the ground floor columns at 3Arts Village,” said Ms Riley.
The timeline pays homage to the 3Arts Theatre, showing highlights of its heyday up to 2019 when the premises were sold and the shopping centre opened. It can be viewed on the first floor, between Pick n Pay and the upstairs toilets.
Ronald Lings, of Wynberg, said he found the display informative. “Some buildings you go into you don’t know what was there before. With this, you can see the transformation of what it was and what it is now.”