Gala Theatre

234 Pitt Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000

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1954 fire

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The only newsreel theatre operated by Hoyts, the News-Luxe Newsreel Theatre was opened prior to 1946, and was sandwiched between the Liberty Theatre and the Variety Theatre.

The tiny Variety Theatre specialised in foreign and art films but was destroyed in a fire on Christmas Eve 1954. A clown employed by the News-Luxe Newsreel Theatre was credited with saving four people trapped above the Variety Theatre. Neither the News-Luxe Newsreel Theatre or Liberty Theatre sustained any damage.

When Hoyts relinquished management of the News-Luxe Newsreel Theatre in the early-1960’s, it became the Gala Theatre, showing foreign, independent and unusual films from the majors. Films like “Come Back Little Sheba” did well at these specialised houses.

What the fire didn’t destroy the march of time did as both the Gala Theatre and Liberty Theatre next door were both closed on 30th January 1975, and were demolished. The Greater Union Pitt Centre, 3-screen cinema was built on the site of the Liberty Theatre.

Contributed by john gleeson
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