C.W. Rapp and George Rapp were the architects who designed the wonderful Melbourne venue, The Forum. With its imitation of night sky ceiling and ornate reproductions of Homer, Aesop and many other Greek poofs, The Forum really brings out the best in the performer. I've seen incredible sets by The Dirty Three, Beck, Primal Scream, Ryan Adams and The Dandy Warhols at the Forum and boy, do I love the place.
The Rapp brothers also designed many theatres in the US. The Riveria in Chicago is said to be an exact replica of The Forum. Anyway George Rapp saw theatre design in a totally different way to the dunderheads responsible for the multiplexes we have to endure today.
Here's George's idea of the perfect venue from the Ringling Brothers website.
"Watch the eyes of a child as it enters the portals of our great theatres and treads the pathway into fairyland. Watch the bright light in the eyes of the tired shopgirl who hurries noiselessly over carpets and sighs with satisfaction as she walks amid furnishings that once delighted the hearts of queens. See the toil-worn father whose dreams have never come true, and look inside his heart as he finds strength and rest within the theatre. There you have the answer to why motion picture theatres are so palatial. Here is a shrine to democracy where there are no privileged patrons. The wealthy rub elbows with the poor -- and are better for this contact. Do not wonder, then, at the touches of Italian Renaissance, executed in glazed polychrome terra cotta, or at the lobbies and foyers adorned with replicas of precious masterpieces of another world. or at the imported marble wainscoting or the richly ornamented ceilings with motifs copied from master touches of Germany, France, and Italy, or at the carved niches, the cloisetered arcades, the depthless mirrors, and the great sweeping staircases. These are not impractical attempts at showing off. These are part of a celestial city -- cavern of many-colored jewels, where iridescent lights and luxurious fittings heighten the expectations of pleasure. It is richness unabashed, but richness with a reason."