242 Pitt Street,
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Located in Sydney city centre. Tom Virgona built a much needed wide screen theatre for the increasing number of big format films back in the 1960’s. The Ascot Theatre was opened on 12th May 1966 and had the second widest screen in the city, surpassed only by the Plaza Theatre and became the preferred outlet for Warners and MGM.
Vigona had built suburban theatres with stadium seating and repeated it here. Two thirds of the auditorium was classed as the lounge, the back of which rose 35 ft. above Pitt Street.
The facade featured two structural columns with a metallic gold finish. The simple, elegant design was the work of architects John Roberts Associates who were responsible for the interiors of Hoyts theatres. The site had previously been occupied by appliance chain HG Palmers but the store burned down in 1965. With this in mind the Ascot Theatre construction emphasized fireproofing.
The Ascot Theatre didn’t last long due to the rise of the multiplexes and closed in 1976. It was converted into Braschs record store and was demolished in 1984. It was next door to MGM’s Liberty Theatre which was replaced by the 3-screen Greater Union Pitt Center.
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