Tucked away in a hidden Brisbane park is the Cloudland Memorial Arch, an homage to the city’s beloved former Cloudland Ballroom. Memorial designer Jamie MacLean took inspiration from the glowing parabolic entry of the original Cloudland that was considered a beacon of the Brisbane skyline for over 40 years.
The ballroom was completed just as Australia entered World War II and lay abandoned until it was commandeered as a camp by the United States military. Following the war, it was renamed Cloudland Ballroom and became the city’s hottest nightspot for debutant balls, dances, and concerts.
The venue evolved over the years, at first playing host to visiting royals, Hollywood stars, and the hippest bands, then to university exams and markets.
Though many Brisbanites know the Cloudland name and legend, few know of the memorial hidden along a small wedge of green space on a dead-end street. The small, neon-lit arch presides over a ceramic “dancefloor”, imprinted with dancing footsteps and heartfelt stories of those who experienced the ballroom first-hand.
Interpretative panels recall Cloudland’s history, including photos and vintage advertisements from its heyday.