Hoyts Cinema Centre
140 Bourke Street,
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Previously operated by: Hoyts Cinemas
Architects: Peter Muller
Firms: Peter Muller
The Cinema Centre was Australia’s first pupose built multi-screen cinema. It opened on 4th June 1969 with Genevieve Waite in “Joanna”, Steve McQueen in “The Thomas Crown Affair” and Sidney Poitier in “For Love of Ivy”. It was designed for Hoyts Cinemas chain by architect & architectural firm; Peter Muller of Sydney, with the architectural firm Bernard Evans & Partners as supervising architects. The interior decorations were by Neville Marsh of Sydney. There were originall three auditoriums with seating capacities of 884 in Screen 1, 820 in Screen 2, and 746 in Screen 3. Screens 1 & 2 had seating all on a single level, while Screen 3 had seating in orchestra & balcony levels. There was a large main foyer, and each screen had its own individual foyer. The complex also boasted a cafe. All three screens were equipped for 70mm films, which were projected onto huge deeply curved screens, Screen 1 was 70 feet wide.
In 1981, Screen 3 was subdivided, with the balcony becoming Screen 4. The Hoyts Cinema Centre was closed on 7th September 2005 when the new Hoyts Melbourne Central 11 opened on Swanston Street.
There were plans to convert to retail use, but it eventually was converted into a Virgin Active Gym, that opened in July 2008.
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Recent comments (view all 6 comments)
Models and original drawings by architect Peter Muller, plus some vintage photographs here:
All three cinemas were equipped to screen 70mm film and did so.
Cinema 3 was the smallest of the three theatres.
Submitted by Trevor Walters
I understand that Cinerama Inc were not impressed that they installed 70mm Cinerama size screens but never advertised them as being Cinerama.
The Cinerama film THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD was shown there in 70mm on the huge deeply curved screen, but not advertised as being in Cinerama.
Grand opening ads Hoyts cinema centre opening Thu, Jun 5, 1969 – Page 17 · The Age (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) · Newspapers.com