29 Bligh Street,
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Previous Names: Adyar Hall
Located in downtown Sydney. Opened as the Adyar Hall (a concert hall) in 1924. It was altered and re-opened as the Savoy Theatre in 1930 with Janet Gaynor in “Sunny Side Up”, which moved over from the Plaza Theatre. All seating was on a single level. It was also used for live theatre, presenting small scale plays until 1937.
Renamed the New Savoy in 1939 and became the venue for foreign films, starting with “La Kermesse Heroique”.
The Savoy Theatre was operated by Dawson-Selleck, local investor John Dawson and Sir Frank Selleck former mayor of Melbourne.
The Savoy Theatre was closed in January 1973 and the building, Adyar House, and most of the block was demolished for new skyscrapers.
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Dame Doris Fitton used the Savoy for smaller scale plays in her Independent Theatre before moving to North Sydney. The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Savoy was equipped for talkies using locally produced sound systems.
I remember this small cinema from when I first started working in Sydney in 1970. I was always curious that it was located at the top end of the city when most of the other theatres were in mid-town or down towards Railway Square (Bligh Street was in the banking and financial house district … I used to bank at the ES&A Bank directly opposite the Savoy, now also long gone). Costa-Gavras’s Greek political thriller ‘Z’ played there seemingly forever, late 1969, all through 1970 & beyond.