18 Alma Road,
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Previously operated by: Hoyts Theatres
Functions: Community Center
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Hoyts Theatre
New Lambton is a western suburb of Newcastle, about 100 miles north of Sydney. Perhaps the most outstanding building is the Community Centre building. It was built as the Savoy theatre in 1937, opening on 27th December 1937.
Everyone’s guess for the architects is Crick & Furse. It certainly has Guy Crick’s trademark porthole windows, rounded corners and stream lines. The Savoy Theatre looks quite like Crick & Furse’s Marrickville Kings Theatre. The building in New South Wales Heritage listed but no architect is mentioned. The credit “Designer Maker” goes to builder William Stronach. He also built the Civic Theatre, Newcastle’s pride and joy, and the Deluxe Theatre in Broadmeadow which was rebuilt by Hoyts as the Century Theatre.
Hoyts took over the Savoy Theatre in 1946. Reviews mention “entertainment by Wilbur Kentwell and his ‘toe tapping’ organ music. Kentwell later became a big name in Sydney radio.
The Savoy Theatre, was briefly re-named Hoyts Theatre before it closed on 27th April 1963. It was a dinner theatre for a while, then a ski shop before being rescued as the New Lambton Community Centre.
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