Odeon Star Semaphore

65 Semaphore Road,
Adelaide, SA 5019

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Odeon Star Semaphore

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Semaphore is a north-western seaside suburb of the city of Adelaide. This cinema originally opened on 22nd May 1920 as the Wondergraph Picture Palace with a seating capacity of 1,246 in orchestra and balcony levels. The opening programme was “Don’t Change Your Husband” and “Behind the Door” plus a Mack Sennett comedy. In September 1921 it was taken over by Clifford Theatre circuit, and it was re-named Star Theatre in 1930.

In 1952, the Clifford Theatres/Star Theatres chain was taken over by the Greater Union Cinemas chain and it was re-named Odeon Cinema from 12th June 1952, re-opening with a gala premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Under Capricorn”. After the introduction of television in May 1959, the Odeon went over to restricted opening hours, which lasted until Greater Union closed the Odeon on 13th November 1976 with “Babe”. The building was sold and was converted into a furniture store, which operated for the following 14 years.

Taken over by independent operator Bob Wilson, it was refurbished and re-opened as the Odeon Star Theatre on 19th December 1991 with “Hot Shots”, initally using just the circle seating area which seated 320. The stalls area continued use as Hoff’s Secondhand Emporium until 1997.

The entire building became a cinema again by sub-dividing the auditorium into three screens seating 300 in the former circle and two screens in the former stalls area seating 150 and 140. Film booking is done by the Wallis Theatres chain.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

smoken57 on November 27, 2015 at 11:23 pm

On the 25th December 2003 the Semaphore Odeon Star was sold to Terry & Jacky Proud. To remain viable, in 2006 with the opening of the Reddings Cinema Complex at West Lakes the Odeon had no choice but to drop ticket prices from $11.00 to $6.00. 2013 saw the introduction of digital projection the biggest change in cinema since the advent of sound. The Proud family embarked on a $500,000 refurbishment program, installing the latest in digital cinema projection techn ology along with the very latest in sound technology using the finest Krix speakers available in all three auditoriums along with full interior paint, new carpets and new seats. The Prouds have retained and maintain a working Film Projector along with film platter in a display area in the upstairs foyer to remind the patrons of the Odeon’s past history. 2015 the Semaphore Odeon Star ticket prices have increased to $9.00 still laying claim to the cheapest family cinema in Adelaide. 2016 will see the installation of new seats in all 3 auditoriums.

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