41 Berry Street,
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Firms: Crick and Furse
Styles: Art Deco
Nowra is a southern coastal city, about 90 miles from Sydney. It is a predominantly farm community with a naval air station and the nation’s largest aerospace museum, the Fleet Air Arm Museum. Downtown Nowra had two cinemas that were examples of Art Deco style master architects - Aaron M. Bolot who revamped West’s Crown Theatre in 1940 and Crick and Furse who designed the Roxy Theatre from scratch.
The Roxy Theatre opened on August 14th 1935 with MGM’s “Naughty Marietta”. In 1939 the owners, Charles Owen and Ron Sutton leased to theatre to Edwin Potts who also operated the Crown Theatre. In 1944 Potts bought the Roxy Theatre. His wife Monica took the reins after his death under her remarried name and ownership was officially listed as “Monica O'Brien trading as E.C.Potts & Co.”
Mrs O'Brien ran the theatre successfully until 1976 when she sold to Robert Brainwood. He was a veteran consultant in the exhibition business and set about modernising the Roxy Theatre. He twinned the main auditorium and later added three more screens. There have been plans to add even more at the rear of the building. Capacity has been reduced from 772 to 540.
Except for the large marquee the front remains just what it was in 1935.
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