Village Cinema

15-17 Military Road,
Watson's Bay,
Sydney, NSW 2030

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The Tiley Brothers began showing films in a open-air theatre in Watson’s Bay. In 1910 Arthur Tiley leased the upper level of the Town Hall building, calling it the Rivoli Theatre. In 1926 the lease went to Edward Smythe who called it the Watson’s Bay Theatre.

When talkies arrived it became the Rex Theatre, by 1952 it was the New Rex Theatre and finally the Village Cinema. It was a popular outlet for art, revivals and foreign films, so much so that Greater Union turned the larger, nearby Double Bay Vogue Theatre into a foreign film venue.

The Village Cinema closed in 1959 and the building now is home to the Watson’s Bay Reception Centre.

Contributed by john gleeson

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

michelle_joan
michelle_joan on August 31, 2013 at 1:04 am

Bruce Dawson operated this cinema until closure in 1959 In the middle 1950’s he wanted to screen Orson Welles masterpiece CITIZEN KANE – the only print that was available at that time was 16mm. I screened the film for about a week using a Bell & Howell-Gaumont Model 601 1000w incandescent lamp projector. The film had to be screened in two parts, there being no long play device at that time. The screen results were quite acceptable (the projector was among the audience in the auditorium) The film was enjoyed by capacity houses-a great experience!!!

johngleeson
johngleeson on January 31, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I trekked all the way from Chatswood to see Kane there. It was an excellent print. The only odd thing about the screening was a fellow who insisted everyone occupy the same seat they had before interval. This was a showing with not too many in the audience and not everyone would remember exactly which row they were in. Strange.

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