Roma Cinema

Princes Highway and Railway Street,
Corrimal, NSW 2518

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Located in Corrimal on the eastern side of Princes Highway, between Railway Street and Collins Street. The Princess Theatre was opened on 16th July 1912 with seating provided for 1,000. In 1913 a sloping floor was installed. It was operated by John Jeffrey but was not a great success and was staging mainly boxing matches and occasional films. It had closed by 1930 when it was taken over by Herbert Wyndham Jones and following a remodelling it was re-opened 1st November 1930 with Ben Lyon in “Air Legion” and Fatty Finn in Kid Stakes". Seating was provided for 750 all on a single level. On 5th September 1931 it screened its first ‘talkie’ Joe E. Brown in “College Lovers”.

In November 1939 plans were put forward to rebuild the front of the theatre and extend the sidewalls up to include a balcony. This work was carried out to the plans of Guy Crick of architectural firm Crick & Furse and the cinema was given an Art Deco style facade. The Princess Theatre re-opened on 29th April 1942, now with 723 seats in stalls and balcony levels.

In 1965 it was re-named Roma Cinema, screening European films. The Roma Cinema was destroyed by a fire on 13th September 1971. The fire broke out 45 minutes after the end of a matinee performance of “Circus World” starring John Wayne. It is said a firework had been thrown at the screen.

The site is now the Corrimal Plaza shopping centre.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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