Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments found
Bio box photo shows Avalon owners Arnold Spry and son Harold with their newly installed Gaumont-Kalee projectors.
We appreciate the info and photographs made available by Warringah Library Services. Thank you Rose Cullen!
We are indebted to Warringah Library Services for theatre information and photographs. Thank you Ms. Rose Cullen.
The web designer is using the top of the Haddon Avenue theatre as a graphic. Maybe they didn’t know there are two places called the Collingswood Theatre.
The ballroom and theatre in Oaklyn on the wHP is the Scottish Rite Auditorium. Looks to be run by Camden County.
Here’s a link to a Rutgers article on a metal and woodworking group using the theatre.
Thanks to John MacRitchie of Manly Library for his help with Manly’s classic theatres.
Manly has a great pioneering history in establishing movies as major entertainment in Sydney.
James Stedman, Manly resident and well known confectionary manufacturer,began showing films in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Hall and on the oceanfront beach in the period 1905-1908. The enterprise was moved off the sand to North Steyne and was run by The Minns Brothers who built what became known as West’s Castle
An ad in The Manly Daily for January 31st, 1910 advertised films “The Life Of Napoleon” and “The Airship Destroyer” By 1913 this site had become The Arcadia theatre.
Information and photos courtesy of John MacRitchie, Local Studies Librarian at Manly Library.
Below the flags is West’s Castle on North Steyne. The photo was taken in either 1911 or 1912. The entire corner block including the Hotel Steyne was advertised For Sale in January 1912, suggesting the theatre had closed.Later that year the Arcadia was built on the site becoming Manly’s first hardtop theatre.
Wollahra Library has the address as 445-451 New South Head Road which Google Earth shows as a Woolworths.
The original theatre on this site was an open-air type, owned by Buck Buchanan. It had corrugated iron walls and deck chairs, showing silents accompanied by piano and violin.
Sold in 1923 to David Glover who built a new theatre. It had stalls in the lower level (now shops) and the upper level had the lounge, dress circle and several balconies.
This building survives today and is closing in on its 100th birthday.
The Union was close to Hoyts Crows Nest theatre, the Sesqui and the North Sydney Orpheum.
Information from caths.org.au – (Cinema and Theatre Historical Society)
CROWS NEST – Queens cinema 1913 Demolished 28/05/1983
Alternative names > Sesqui (late 1930’s)
The Clovelly RSL has closed and announced that bids on the property will be accepted in early 2013.
Similar RSL clubs found their real estate to be very valuable and attractive to developers of apartment blocks.
You’re probably right Ken. The circuits fibbed about wide screen processes and I remember Paramount plugging the VitaScreen – sounds a bit like VistaVision. The screen was a big improvement though and made 35mm look better. Hoyts quibbled about Tood AO at the Paris which didn’t have it, and GU had their Wydascope.
Something Is Out There, a 1988 tv movie set in Los Angeles needed a large derelict theatre for scenes involving a giant alien crashing through the walls and used the Regent. A lot of trouble for short scenes and sad to see the grand old place come to this.
Hi Irene, you can reach me at
This theatre was rehabbed and renamed the Mecca before it was demolished and there’s an entry here under that name. It did indeed have an organ which was on a small round stage with an illuminated top.
The Regent on James Street is in Western Australia.
The Clovelly RSL has declared bankruptcy so the future of this property is in doubt.
The Prince Edward was at 36-42 Castlereagh Street and ran through the block with the back of the building (looking like another front) at 51-53 Elizabeth Street.
It was very close to Martin Place and blocks away from the above map which has it on Park Street.
In the 50’s the theatre installed a huge curved aluminum VistaVision screen. It was a one piece screen that had to be placed through the roof. Anyone who saw the premiere of Strategic Air Command on this screen will never forget the amazing sharpness and depth – the HD of its day.
BEFORE THE PLAZA
The site was home to several theatres, beginning with the Atheneum Hall which opened in 1907.
It was renamed the Oxford Theatre for live events in 1908 and then the Colonial, a 1200 seat theatre in 1910 which showed films.
Hoyts took over in 1917 with the name DeLuxe. See photo section for the DeLuxe.
The Plaza opened on April 11, 1930 with “Dynamite” Demille’s first talkie.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported “Mr. Eddie Fitch, formerly of the Oriental Theatre, Chicago, has been engaged as organist for Hoyts' new Plaza Theatre. Mr. Fitch came to Australia last year and has been acting as organist at Hoyts Regent Theatres in Melbourne and Brisbane.”
I saw The War Wagon at the Pix. The walls were covered with maroon drapes and the screen seemed bigger than would fit on the stage – possibly it was constructed forward of the proscenium.
Jane Britten, Local History Librarian at the Woollahra Library, has kindly sent me the following information:
The theatre’s site at Oxford and Wallis no longer exists as it did, due to part of it being subsumed in the late 70’s by the Bondi Junction bypass now named Syd Einfeld Drive.
The site was transferred to Shell Oil who built a service station which remained until 1974 when the Department Of Main Roads purchased the property for the bypass.
The theatre’s architects were Oakley and Middleton and this was their first cinema design.
In the 40’s and 50’s the Roseville cinema was owned and operated by D.B. O'Connor, a pioneer Australian actor-producer who starred in films like “The Face At The Window” in 1919.