Mid City 3 Chinatown Cinemas

194 Bourke Street,
Melbourne, VIC 3000

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Mid City 3 Chinatown Cinemas

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Opened in 1970 by Hoyts Cinemas as a twin screen cinema, it was first known as the Mid City Cinemas 4 & 5 (In 1969, Hoyts Cinema Centre had opened just along Bourke Street, with its screens numbered 1, 2 & 3). The two screens at Mid City are located on the 2nd floor level above the Mid City Arcade. A huge foyer is located at 1st floor level above the ground floor shopping arcade. It was the first cinema to be built in Australia with back-to-back auditoriums, both sharing a common single projection box. Seating was provided on a single level, with a stepped area at the rear. The actual screens are huge and stretch from wall to wall. They were equipped to screen 70mm and Todd-AO format films.

In 1976 a third screen was added. It is located underneath the largest screen, utilising part of the main foyer area. Projection in this third screen is via a periscope from a projection box that was constructed in the shopping arcade below. It then operated as Hoyts Mid City 4, 5 & 6.

Seating capacities in the Mid City’s three screens were 750, 932 and 221. Hoyts operated it as a regular city centre cinema until 1992. Since then it has been leased out, and screens Chinese films, and also films from India and Korea. It is now the only cinema operating on Bourke Street, which once boasted over 18 cinemas over the years.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 20, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Two photographs of the Mid City Cinemas:
In Febraury 2006 (note the Village City Centre 4 Cinemas on the left (which closed on that evening):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kencta/4119943709/
A close-up photograph I took in March 2004:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kencta/4120729214/

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

A photograph of the rear entrance to the Mid City Complex on Little Bourke Street, which I took in February 2010:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kencta/5181595037/

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