New Grand Theatre

6 Paisley Street,
Melbourne, VIC 3011

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Built on the site of the Church of Christ, the Grand Theatre opened November 15, 1911. Originally seating 2,000, part of the opening programme was a film showing the demolition of the Church of Christ and preperation work on the site for the new cinema. The auditorium had a sliding roof, for ventilation in hot weather.

The Grand Theatre was closed during the Depression from 1931 to 1935. It was refurbished by Eric Yeomans, re-opening as the New Grand Theatre in 1936. New decorative plasterwork had been installed inside the auditorium, lit with special lighting effects and gold coloured screen curtains.

In later years, the balcony was extended forward to provide a 500 seat cinema, with a new entrance made from a former balcony exit stairway. The former entrance, foyer and stalls areas were converted into retail use. The Grand Theatre closed on 8th April 1987 with “Heartburn”, it was the last cinema to operate in Footscray. The building was converted to a Fiesta Bingo hall on the single level upstairs. The ground floor former stalls area continued as several retail units.

The facade has been covered with metal sheeting, although the original decorative Rococo style details still remain hidden under it. On closer inspection, it looks like it was a beautiful theatre when first opened.

Sadly, by 2004, the bingo club had been closed and the space used for storage.

Contributed by Lost Memory, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm

A photograph I took of the Grand Theatre in February 2006:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kencta/3639090010/

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