Hoyts Chatswood Theatre

387 Victoria Avenue,
Chatswood,
Chatswood, NSW 2067

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Chatswood Hoyts / Esquire / Dreadnought

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Located in the north Sydney suburb of Chatswood, on Victoria Avenue close to Archer Street. The Dreadnought Theatre was an open air theater built in 1912. Demolished and rebuilt in 1921 as an hard-top theatre with seating for 1,463 in stalls and circle levels. It was designed by the architectural firm Kaberry & Chard. The Dreadnought Theatre was closed in the mid-1940’s.

It was purchased by the Hoyts Theatres chain and after an extensive internal reconstruction to the plans of architect John W. Roberts, was re-opened on 26th December 1948 with Clifton Webb in “Sitting Pretty”, showing first run with city theatres. The theatre had been re-named Esquire Theatre, and alterations included the installation of a decorative plaster ceiling designed by plaster designers James Lyall of Melbourne which replaced the original lattice-type ceiling. There was also a new lobby floor of grey-marble Belgian tiles, and new seating.

It ran as the Esquire Theatre until the nearby Hoyts Arcadia Theatre was closed due the the lease expiring in 1961. The Esquire Theatre was redecorated and re-opened as Hoyts Chatswood Theatre on 27th April 1961 with Marlon Brando in “The Fugitive Kind”.

Hoyts Chatswood Theatre was closed in 1977, and was converted into retail use.

Contributed by john gleeson

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

johngleeson
johngleeson on January 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm

The Esquire had louvres over windows on the auditorium walls. In daytime showings an usher came by with a very long pole and closed the louvres. For most of its life it ran double bills, two or three days per week.

itsjohn
itsjohn on October 28, 2013 at 5:28 am

This is the cinema that gave birth to my love of movies. The first movie I ever saw here was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in August 1969. It then became our local, as it was four blocks away from our house. I then spent almost every Saturday of my youth here. It had a great wide stalls area, with a slight slope. The hardly used dress circle was very large, but I only ever recall it being used a few times. An old bloke named Charlie who was the head usher collected tickets and always treated the regular kids with a great deal of fun. In 1972, I recall seeing Bedknobs and Broomsticks here. I remember in 1974, seeing a movie here cost 95 cents. The next year, it went up to $1.05. Among the many movies seen here were The Taking of Pelham 123 (1974), Three Days of the Condor (1975), Funny Lady (1975), Tommy (1975), Towering Inferno (1975), Silver Streak (1976), The Deep (1976) and Star Wars (1977). A very sad day when they closed this cinema down.

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