George CoppinPrint Page Print this page

George Coppin : 15-September-2011
George Coppin : 15-September-2011
Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A plaque commemorates the actor, comedian and parliamentarian, George Selth Coppin who erected the Olympic Theatre on this site in 1855. 

George Coppin first made his reputation as an actor but, after he had been a few years in Australia, management took up an increasing amount of his time. He built the Haymarket Theatre in Mebourne and founded The Old Colonists Association. He was a comedian and was also a member for Melbourne Province in the Legislative Council for a term of five years.

This week Miss Lucy Coppin unveiled a plaque in the Comedy Theatre to the memory of George Selth Coppin, after whom the well-known Richmond street was named, and who, was an "eminent actor, a generous friend, a kindly philanthropist, and an unselfish and public spirited citizen." He was more than that. He was the father of the theatre in Victoria and it is especially significant that the Old Players and Playgoers' Society were able to arrange for their plaque to go up in the Comedy Theatre, which now occupies the site of the old Olympic Theatre-"The Iron Pot," which Coppin brought with him from England, in sections — that was built in 1855. Coppin made and lost fortunes. But it was after he had retired and gone back to England that . the lure of the' theatre brought him to Australia again, and this time he stayed for good. He had hotels and theatres in all the eastern State capitals, and in Launceston. In all he built six theatres and introduced 200 actors to the Australian public, When elected to the State Assembly he opposed payment of members and gave his £300 a year to charity. He was an Oddfellow, and First Grand Master of the first Grand Lodge of Freemasons in Victoria. He introduced skating rinks, Turkish baths, English thrushes, and the first camel, and owned the first lion cubs born in the State. If any man deserves a plaque, Coppin does.
Table Talk (Melbourne), 30 March 1939.


Address:Exhibition & Lonsdale Streets, Comedy Theatre, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.810335
Long: 144.969896
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 26th March, 1939
Front Inscription

           1819 - 1906

Father Of The Theatre In Victoria
Erected The Olympic Theatre
On This Site

Erected By The Old Players And Playgoers Society
And Other Admirers

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design