Congratulations to the City of Melbourne for the Christmas sound and light show on the west facade of the Melbourne Town Hall.

We happened to stumble upon the installation somewhat by accident one evening this week. Where has this little gem been hiding?


For those who haven’t seen it, the evening show goes for about 5 minutes every quarter of an hour and tells a whimsical story of Santa’s toy factory projected up onto the Town Hall from two large projection kiosks stationed in Swanston Street. Once it’s dark enough, the crowds flock to stand and watch the elves do their magic and see the Town Hall transformed into a busy series of conveyor belts, spinning poles, and steam whistles as the toy factory goes into full production.

What a great idea! In fact, it’s such a great idea that it should be expanded to other parts of the City centre.


For example, why not create similar projections onto other important land mark public buildings to produce a walking trail of 5 or 6 different installations?  What about the Melbourne Baths and the State Library? Or Flinders Street Station – say, the northern elevation, perhaps around the intersection with Elizabeth Street? What about a projection of the nativity story onto St Paul’s Cathedral? The City has some really creative people who could produce some brilliant productions. The opportunities are endless.


Having about 5 or 6 different installations would enable:

  • The opportunity to provide a total of about 1 to 1.5 hours of ‘entertainment’ – assuming each installation ran, say, every 15 mins with each show going for about 5 mins and allowing 10 mins to walk to the next installation;
  • The potential for a variety of creative groups to be involved in telling different Christmas messages/stories – or alternatively they could be integrated so that each installation told a ‘chapter’ of the same story;
  • The City centre to provide a real point of difference to the experiences offered in suburban shopping malls and encourage people to come into town to shop and recreate.

Whilst it would obviously be of interest to children, if properly done it could be huge attraction for people of all ages and could run throughout all of December in the lead up to Christmas.


Melbourne has already demonstrated an appetite for White Night. Why not continue to expand upon the experiences learned from that event to create a contemporary Christmas event that goes beyond daggy Christmas trees and tired old decorations hung off tram lines.

Drop down to the Town Hall in the evening and take a look at Santa’s Workshop and tell us what you think.