Elizabethan Theatre

Wilson Street & Erskineville Road,
Sydney, NSW 2042

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Elizabethan Theatre

Once the jewel of Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Newtown, the Majestic Theatre was built in 1929 by Fullers Theatres. Sir Benjamin Fuller’s company specialised in musical comedies and began building impressive theatres modeled on European opera houses, the St. James Theatre and the Majestic Theatre being good examples.

The Majestic Theatre alternated stage comedies with films, and was one of the city’s first ‘talkie’ theatres. It weathered the Depression by showing films.

In 1954 Charles Moses established Australia’s first national theatre company, The Elizabethan Trust. The Majestic Theatre was acquired the following year and re-named Elizabethan Theatre. It was initially a success, but the theatre began to suffer declining audiences due to the then unsavory reputation of Newtown (today it is a trendy upmarket district). The opening of the new Sydney Opera House was also blamed for loss of attendance at the Elizabethan Theatre.

The Elizabethan Theatre was closed and was destroyed in a mysterious fire which occurred in 1980. Offices have been built on the site.

Contributed by John Gleeson
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