Friday 22 July 2016

Southern Cross Lane & a Beatlemania scene

Those were the days where voluminous mop-top haircut and curved-hems bell-bottom jeans were leading the fashion; Bikini and mini-skirt attracted unprecedented popularity and an equal measure of disapproval; Women in their beehive hairdos danced to the beat of Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never”, and children sang about their favourite things to the Sound of Music’s tune. It was the classic Sixties, the era where Beatlemania was a new phenomenon, lasted for almost a decade and still rang an echo today.

14 June 1964 is a very unusual Sunday in Melbourne. A massive troop of 20,000 hysterical youngsters gathered at the corner of Bourke and Exhibition Streets. They screamed insanely and chanted frenetically. Some collapsed in their overexcitement, some cried frantically in distress. Many attempted to launch a siege on the Southern Cross Hotel, and many more devised secret plans to intrude the premises. Police cordon was assaulted. Stretchers were used to carry fainted teenagers away. It was a mayhem, a chaotic scene resulted in many injuries, a perplexed occurrence beyond comprehension. When the Beatles appeared on the balcony of the hotel waving to the fanatic fans, all hell broke loose - All for a glimpse of the sensational rock band from Liverpool.

The once glamorous Southern Cross Hotel was eventually demolished in year 2003, and is replaced by the modern office premises nostalgically named the Southern Cross Tower. Sandwiched between the two glistening translucent glass towers is the contemporary-style atrium with its classy glass roof and dynamic trading space.

Despite its name, the Southern Cross Lane lacks all usual characteristics of a typical Melbourne laneway. There is no vibrant street arts, huge wheelie bins, or secret jazz club in sight. Instead, the Southern Cross Lane is a wide passageway with airy and bright environment. It is stylish and chic, occupied by few of the most highly recommended cafes, eateries and bakeries in town. The renowned Axil Coffee Roasters and its seasonal espresso blend, Joy Cupcakes and its gourmet-style experiment of sweet flavours, the famous Mabrown and its signature spicy sweet quail – this is the place where serious food connoisseurs found their serendipity of surprises, and trendy hipster could enjoy a moment of peace amidst the urban noise.


113-149 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000


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