Sunshine Theatre

128 Hampshire Road,
Melbourne, VIC 3020

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Sunshine Theatre  170 Hampshire Road, Sunshine - Victoria

Located in the west Melbourne district of Sunshine. The Sunshine Theatre was opened with a private screening on 20th March 1925. It was operated by Sunshine Pictures Ltd. The public were admitted the following day. On 16th April 1930 it was equipped for ‘talkies’. In 1931 it was taken over by George Kirby of Kirby Theatres. In 1938 it was refurbished and re-opened as the New Sunshine Theatre. Later the ‘New’ was dropped and it underwent several operators before its closure in 1975. The building still stands in 2019 in use as a Centre Com computor store.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

film
film on October 17, 2019 at 6:20 pm

Sunshine Theatre 128 Hampshire Road, Sunshine Victoria

Physical Description Description today.

This is a Moderne style, one and two-storey, former theatre, sited opposite the Masonic Hall in the former civic and social centre of Sunshine. The street facade has a streamlined tiered treatment with curved corners and projecting fins, all executed in moulded cement. The projection booth, set back in the upper level, sits forward of the auditorium and so is expressed externally. Originally, banding in black tiles at the plinth and a string course at the top of the entrance created a strong horizontal effect (since over painted). This was accentuated by the curve-edged cantilevered verandah over the set-back entrance.

The multiple sets of glass doors sat at the top of a small flight of three steps. Internally, the building was decorated with Moderne style geometric patterns executed in plaster, with timber panelling in the foyer. Much of this has been removed in the conversion to first a furniture shop, and then to offices. However, the ceiling panels and proscenium arch remain intact.

Physical Conditions Condition/integrity

In good condition. The conversion to commercial use has meant the foyer interior has been stripped, windows have been inserted into the originally blank facade, and the entrance remodelled in modern glazing. The rear corrugated-iron clad shed which held the auditorium has been replaced with a masonry shed of approximately the same footprint. Note – This place/object may be included in the Victorian Heritage Register pursuant to the Heritage Act 2017. Check the Victorian Heritage Database, selecting ‘Heritage Victoria’ as the place data owner – Contributed by Greg Lynch –

film
film on October 19, 2019 at 8:01 pm

Exhibitors through the years were…

1925 – 1953 : Exhibitor : Sunshine Pictures Pty Ltd
1931 – 1966 : Exhibitor : Kirby’s Theatres Pty Ltd

Sold – During 1966 the theatre was sold to Nikos & Demetrios Lazogas who pursued a Greek screening policy, mainly of family & comedy product they had purchased.

Comment : Between 1962 & 1968 it is believed that The Sunshine Theatre followed a policy of running Greek Motion Pictures. There is evidence that over the remaining years that Reg Boulter / R Penny & Grove Bros were exhibitors at The Sunshine Theatre.

Melbourne is home to one of the largest Greek diaspora communities in the world as well as being the city with the largest Greek-speaking population outside Greece. According to the 2001 Australian census, Melbourne has the largest Greek Australian population in Australia (151,785 or around 47%), and the largest Greek population of any city in the World, outside of Greece – Contributed by Greg Lynch –

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on October 20, 2019 at 3:24 am

The first public screening on 21/3/1925 was the movie “The humming bird”. Unknown if the private screening on 20/3/1925 was the same movie?

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