Silver Screen Theatre

42 North Steyne,
Sydney, NSW 2095

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Silver Screen Theatre

Manly is one of Sydney’s most popular beach suburbs and a major tourist attraction. It also has a long history of film exhibition beginning in 1909 with tent theatres on the beach itself.

The first indoor cinema was the Arcadia Picture Theatre, built in 1912 at 42 North Steyne. The Arcadia Picture Theatre changed owners a few times and after remodeling in 1948, it reopened as the Century Theatre.

Two years later it was sold to MGM and joined their small chain of Metro theatres circuit in December 1950. MGM operated the theatre until 1971, when a new owner re-named it the Silver Screen Theatre, and ran it until it closed in 1980. The building then became a nightclub and pinball arcade before being demolished in 2000.

Contributed by John Gleeson

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

johngleeson on April 30, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Manly has a great pioneering history in establishing movies as major entertainment in Sydney. James Stedman, Manly resident and well known confectionary manufacturer,began showing films in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Hall and on the oceanfront beach in the period 1905-1908. The enterprise was moved off the sand to North Steyne and was run by The Minns Brothers who built what became known as West’s Castle An ad in The Manly Daily for January 31st, 1910 advertised films “The Life Of Napoleon” and “The Airship Destroyer” By 1913 this site had become The Arcadia theatre. Information and photos courtesy of John MacRitchie, Local Studies Librarian at Manly Library.

darrenparlett on August 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I loved this cinema due to the cult film genre and I wished I was able to see those cult R rated flicks that used to display on the front (i was only a kid at the time but i got see films like THE MUPPET MOVIE , SALTY , WHEN A STRANGER CALLS , GRIZZLY and anything else that was shown as Sat arvo matinee or double feature. As you left the cinema, 2 Stanley Krubrick classics A CLOCKWORK ORANGE & 2001 A SPACE ODDESY were displayed as exited the cinema. And the cinema was located across the road from one of the most beautiful beaches in Manly.

mark lees
mark lees on April 15, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Spent many happy shifts as a young assistant projectionist under the MGM banner when recently equipped with four track magnetic sound in 1970 by MGM following renovation. The projection room had three Simplex E7s with Peerless Arcs. Very very little room to move but really well equipped. Unfortunately no windows to open and enjoy the view of Manly Beach across the road.

robyn2839 on December 30, 2016 at 8:24 pm

used to live 2 doors up from the silver screen,they used to have 20 cent movies which would start at midnight sometimes,lots of horror movies ,monty python ,cult movies. every one would get stoned then off to the silver screen,what a great place manly was then.

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