Comments from Ianhanson

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Ianhanson commented about Hoyts Clovelly Theatre on Apr 15, 2004 at 11:08 pm

Hoyts Clovelly Theatre was in “Adam style” architecture with an arched proscenium. It was never modernised like some of the others.
It was of most unusual construction. It was designed by Charles Bohringer. The photograph was taken by the late John Alfred in May,1957. The tram,one of Sydney’s old “toastracks” is shown heading back to the city.

Ianhanson commented about Hoyts Double Bay Theatre on Apr 15, 2004 at 11:03 pm

This theatre was originally known as the “SOuthern Cross”. It was built by E.L. Betts theatres in the mid 1920’s. Hoyts took over Betts theatres in 1927. It was rebuilt in in 1936c. Hoyts Double Bay was featured in the 1948 production called “Guest in Our House”. This film was made by Fox Movietone News as a training doco for the staff of Hoyts Theatre Limited. It starred that late Pat Firman. All those persons appearing in it were actors from J.C. Williamson shows.

The photograph shown was taken by the the late John Alfred in December,1959.

Ianhanson commented about Regent Theatre on Apr 11, 2004 at 5:16 am

The Regent Theatre,Sydney was located at the address of 487-503 George Street,Sydney,not 575 George Street.The theatre was demolished during the early months of 1990.

Ianhanson commented about Regent Theatre on Apr 11, 2004 at 2:15 am

The proscenium of the Plaza Theatre,Laurieton.(north coast of N.S.W.)has utilised salvaged elements from the Regent,Brisbane. The plaques in the proscenium which depict Roman scenes,came originally from the great ceiling dome of the Regent Theatre.

Ianhanson commented about Regent Theatre on Apr 11, 2004 at 2:11 am

I was once an employee of the Regent,Brisbane. I worked there in projection over 30 years ago. I have many happy memories of the place and I have not bothered much after it was bastardised in 1980.
At least that did keep the foyers. The incident with the shotgun took place in the early 1970’s I think.
The Regent theatre seated 2,583 and was designed by Charles Hollinshead,with Aaron Bolot and Richrd Gailey. It was one of Australia’s grandest theatres.

The 3 manual 15 rank Wurlitzer organ which was housed in the Brisbane Regent theatre from 1929 to 1964,is being returned to that city. It is apparently being installed in a new arts complex on Brisbane’s Southbank. The organ was sold in 1964 to the late Dr. King of Lawson.(N.S.W.). Dr. King passed away in September,2002 and the organ was sold and removed from the home in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. The organ is in remarkable condition.

Ianhanson commented about State Theatre on Apr 11, 2004 at 1:56 am


The State theatre is the owner of a Wurlitzer Pipe Organ. The organ was a super de-luxe model. As originally imported,the State Wurlitzer had two four keyboard consoles with Grand Piano attactment and giant 32'(10 meter) organ pipes. The organ has been in poor condition for decades. It finally blew up in 1992! The decision was taken then not to repair it and it was simply sent to the bottom of the pit! A campaign to have it restored is being pusued with gusto!
In June,2000 work started to restore it completly. The funds coming from the theatre itself. Work is now well in hand in restoring the pipe chambers. Parts of the restored organ are now being reinstalled at the theatre. The console being the first item to appear.

Ianhanson commented about State Theatre on Apr 11, 2004 at 1:44 am

Sydney’s State theatre is basically a pot-puri of 2 famous New York theatres plus another from Chicago. The architect,John Eberson was visited personally by the head of Union Theatres,(Stuart F. Doyle) and his architect(Henry White) in 1926. Doyle wanted the latest designs of American movie palaces for his Australian circuit.Eberson had already given White plans for “atmospheric” theatres. Doyle wanted a New York Paramount type building for his second big Sydney theatre. Eberson supplied many of the working drawings,even though Eberson was not the architect of the Paramount. In 1929,the new Sydney State theatre was opened. A theatre that could hold neary 3,000 persons! Doyle got exactly what he wanted. The State theatre is a scaled down New York Paramount. The lobby was a scaled model of the New York Roxy(which included same coloured scaglioli columns) rising some 5 stories. Many of the statuary.light fittings,water fountains and signage are identical to those of the Paradise theatre,Chicago.(an Eberson theatre). In otherwords,the State theatre is a “fully imported” american movie palace.Many of the fittings were made by the same companies who made similar for american theatres.

Ianhanson commented about Capitol Theatre on Apr 11, 2004 at 12:44 am

The Chicago Capitol was used as a model for a theatre in Sydney,Australia. This theatre was also called the Capitol and opened in 1928. It once had a 3/15 Wurlitzer pipe organ. The theatre once seated 3,000. Organ restored and moved to Orion theatre at Campsie,Sydney.(1988) Capitol Theatre,Sydney restored in 1995 by Sydney City Council.