Hotel Blog

Magic Lantern Music Show

Duration: 10-11, February 2024

A biunial magic lantern built from mahogany and brass in the nineteenth century by Newton & Co.

Article from Castlemaine Mail Feb 2024
Some of the most intense experiences to be had at the turn of the last century were produced by the magic lantern apparatus as people sat together, shoulder to shoulder, in the dark.  Head to the Coolroom at the Northern Arts Hotel this February as Crank Williams, Patsy Decline and Martyn Jolly work their magic, reconjuring the same sensations and emotions felt by Australian audiences over a hundred years ago. 

Colours will swirl and twist in the dark, stories of heartache, despair and desire will be vividly rendered on the screen.  They will be performing a series of authentic, original chro- matropes — optical devices where a handle and a cog spin concentrically patterned discs of glass in opposite directions to generate psychedelic pulses of pure colour sensation. 

They will also be performing a series of ‘dissolving views’, where hand-coloured squares of glass made from ‘life models’ photographed against painted backdrops, are dissolved one into another to illustrate a story or a song.

Crank Williams will be performing vocals; reel-to-reel tape recorder from the 1960’s with its original magnetic heads, a heavily used RCA 1/4 inch tape recorder from the late 1960’s; 1951 National Chicagoan six string lap steel guitar; Hagstrom six string hollow body electric guitar; and a1965 fender tube reverb tank.  Patsy Decline will be performing vocals; and playing a Moog theremin (a modern-day model of a classic instrument de- signed by Leon Theremin in the 1920’s).

Martyn Jolly uses slides from the 1800s and early 1900s including; the Lights of London Town, and hand-tinted life models magic lantern slides, to recreate the magic experienced by audiences more than 100 years ago.

7.30pm, Saturday, February 10 and 2.30pm Sunday, Febru- ary 11 at the Coolroom- Northern Arts Hotel 359 Barker Street Castlemaine. 

Tickets: $20/$15 or $55/$45 for a share package (two tickets plus bottle wine). 

Seating is limited so bookings are essential – 


Castlemaine Safe Space Raffle

Duration: 26 November 2023

Big shout out to over 60 amazing businesses who have donated goods and vouchers to our three big raffle baskets. Over $1600 in value!  Fundraising is part of the  It’s Almost Christmas Spectacular Fundraising Concert on Sunday 26 November from 5pm-7pm. All money raised goes to Castlemaine Safe Space. Two will be drawn at the event and one will be drawn on 17th December at our final event for 2023. @followers

you can buy tickets online:

And here is the list!
Aolita, Art Supplies Castlemaine, Bakers Delight, Beehave, Blackbird Cafe, BMS Mower Service, Boomtown, Bubble & Squeak Pet store, Castlemaine Floristry, Castlemaine FRESH, Castlemaine Noodle, Castlemaine Office Supplies, Central Wine Store, Chapmans Picture Framing, Clifford’s Quality Cuts, Computers Sales & repairs, Desa Shoes, Extremity, Fasom Plumbing, Green Green Goes the Grocer, Hip Pocket workwear, Home Timber & Hardware, Hot Variety, IGA Supermarket, Ivy & Grace, JM Leech Jewellers, Little General Kids, Love Shack, Lyall Eales Store McShanags Pie Shop, Maine Second-hand, Maine Shoes & Accessories, MAXI Supermarket, McKenzie Davey Amcal Chemist , Mensland, Merchants of Mostyn, Midland Pet Supplies, Miss Maisie, Moxie Café, Mulberrys, Nem Viet, News Lotto, ONI Streetwear, Origini Cafe, Pet Stock, Pyrenees Premium Meats, Ritchies, Saint Florian Café, Shoestring Market, Stocks Gifts & Gallery, Stoneman’s Book Room, Taste Of the Orient, Terry White Pharmacy, The Corner Store, The Cumberland Hotel, The Moon-Massage, The Tea Dispensary, Theatre Royal, Togs Place, Travellers Choice,Tribe, WILD Food & Wine.

Thanks to staff member Claire Perry  [left in photo with Safe Space member Rose] for her hard work in getting such an amazing groups of donations together.



TimeOut Melbourne Magazine Feature

Duration: May 2023

The best natural wonders to find in  Bendigo, Castlemaine and surrounds 

Less than two hours from Melbourne, Victoria’s beautiful goldfields region has stunning landscapes as well as a wealth of history, culture and great eats. 

By Matthew Kennedy in association with Visit Victoria and Bendigo Regional Tourism Friday 5 May 2023 Northern Arts Hotel | Photographs: Carmen Zammit 


Experience high art on the hilltop at Northern Arts Hotel 

Castlemaine has long been celebrated for its commitment to the arts, and the Northern Arts Hotel is no exception. While rooms here are warm, charming and steeped in history, it’s the atmosphere that made us fall in love with this hotel – owned and operated by Maggie Fooke, whose now-closed Brooklyn Arts Hotel was a Fitzroy institution. Arriving on a Saturday afternoon, we catch the tail end of a poetry reading & workshop (sorry for the interruption, guys!). After ducking out for dinner, we join the locals in the main room for some slow jazz and wine by the fire. It’s great to see Maggie’s dedication to the arts is as strong as ever with such a diverse roster of salons, screenings, talks & performances. 

Download a copy of the story here



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