505-525 George Street,
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Greater Union Event Cinemas (Official)
Operated by: Greater Union Theatres
Previously operated by: Hoyts Cinemas, Village Theatres
Firms: Roy Grounds & Partners
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Previous Names: Hoyts Entertainment Centre, Village Greater Union Hoyts Centre
This multiplex cinema was originally shared between the 3 big cinema chains in Australia ‘Greater Union Cinemas’ ‘Village Roadshow Cinemas’ and ‘Hoyts Cinemas’ when it first opened on 8th January 1977. The Hoyts Theatres had 7-screens and 4,382 seats in their Entertainment Centre. Greater Union Theatres operated the Rapallo (ex Victory Theatre from the 1930’s) and Paramount Theatre (a conversion of a factory building into a cinema in the 1960’s). Village Theatres opened a newly built 3-screen complex, and later added another two screens. These were later demolished. The Greater Union Cinemas and the Hoyts Theatres were incorportated into the current complex.
Since renovation was completed in 2001, this cinema is now the busiest cinema in Australia doing 30 - 40 thousand admissions per week and 10 - 20 thousand in quiet weeks.
It is now operated by Greater Union Theatres. In 2010, it was re-branded Event Cinemas. In June 2019 the number of screens was reduced from 17 to 15 and the total seating capacities reduced from 5,784 down to 3,347.
On May 14, 2020 planning permission was approved to demolish the Event Cinemas to build a skyscraper tower which will contain 507 apartments and a small boutique cinema which will be the only cinema operating in the city centre. In July 2021 it was announced the redevelopment has been put on hold for several years.
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Recent comments (view all 20 comments)
Correction. Village opened with 3 screen complex with a further 2 planned screens at a later date which happend so it became a 5 cinema complex.
The Village complex was later demolished and never became part of the Greater Union / Hoyts complexes when they were joined together.
The Original Hoyts Entertainment Centre site (505-523 George St) is set to be demolished to make way for another residential skyscraper by Coombes property group in 2017. They have DA Approval from the Sydney City Council and all they are waiting on now is for the final design. The other part of the Event site, 525-527 (Old Paramount and Rapallo) and finally Greater Union on George is staying for the present but there are plans submitted to the SCC for another building to replace that site as well. What was once a great Cinema Strip between Bathurst and Liverpool st will soon be reduced to 1 Multiplex and the old Plaza. As for my self I have great memories of when “The Regent – Hoyts Entertainment Centre – Paramount – Rapallo and Village Cinema City” Took up the whole one side of George St between Bathurst and Liverpool. Great days in the 70’s and 80’s and even greater memories. Ed
Good Afternoon. As of today a design winner has been chosen to build a 270m tower/apartment building on the site with demolition and construction to start in 2019/2020. Beginning of the end for the old Hoyts Centre. Fred
Opened on 8/1/1977 on the site of the old Trocadero Ballroom with the World premieres of “Eliza Fraser” and “Barney” “The Eagle has landed” and the Australian prenieres of “Silent movie”, “The Pink Panther strikes again” and “Cousin, Cousine"and "The Omen. Opened with 4382 seats.
There are now only 15 cinemas inside (since the 2 boutique cinemas occupy a large space). The new combined seating capacity (overall) is 3347 seats.
It may be re-developed into a 7 screen cinema.
The redevelopment is pending approval
I think this cinema held the premiere of “The Wiggles Movie” on December 18, 1997, as it was the only movie theatre in the City Centre at the time.
Some good news for now. The proposed development has been put on hold for a few years.