Paramount Theatre

525 George Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000

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Paramount Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The only single theatre built in the city since the Ascot Theatre, the Paramount Theatre was a single level theatre built in what was a warehouse and furniture showroom. The narrow frontage led into a long vestibule with the auditorium behind the Rapallo Theatre in Kent Street.

Paramount Studios had long enjoyed releasing their top films at their own Prince Edward Theatre and went into partnership with Greater Union for a replacement. A press release described the decor as Corinthian columns lining the walls between panels of gold velvet leading to the wall to wall stage with curtains of gold velvet. There was no proscenium, giving the theatre the widest screen possible. White marble effect statues topped the columns for a classical look.

The Paramount Theatre opened in May 1966 with Richard Burton in “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold”. The theatre ran successfully even racking up a record run for “Can’t Stop The Music” which did not do well anywhere else. 70mm presentations began in 1974 with a re-release of “The Ten Commandments”. Others were “Star Trek”, “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” and the final 70mm show, “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas”.

In 1984 Greater Union demolished the Paramount Theatre and adjacent Rapallo Theatre to extend the neighbouring Hoyts multiplex which they had taken over.

Contributed by john gleeson

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

podyperson on February 3, 2014 at 1:34 am

dear john thank you for the wonderful picture and information,another crime against humanity it was destroyed,one question if it is alright ,I thought that greater union was a separate company to Hoyt’s when they built the new multiplex that opened in 1986,thank you again.

gregpunch on September 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Dear John and podyperson. The Greater Union centre built on the site after the Paramount’s demolition was indeed separate to the neighbouring Hoyts complex. The Greater Union Centre opened with four screens, later expanding to six by slicing a cinema in half and fitting out a basement space where one had to navigate pillars for an unobstructed view of the screen! It was several years later that the Hoyts, Greater Union and Village Complex were joined through a labyrinth of passage ways and remodeled cinema spaces.

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