600 George Street,
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Hoyts Plaza Theatre in Sydney was the original quintessential “Spanish” styled theatre. It was famous in the old days as a picture palace complete with an English built Christie theatre organ and a full orchestra on an elevated platform. Many big films opened here, the first being Cecil B. DeMille’s production of “Dynamite” which starred Conrad Nagel and opened the Plaza on 9th May 1930. The original plan was for a 4,000 seater, but the stock market crash of 1929 was to see those plans go out the window.
In September 1958, the Plaza Theatre was refurbished for Cinerama and the screen at that time was the largest in Australia for an indoor cinema.
All big 70mm blockbusters from Fox, MGM, United Artists, etc., were shown here from March 1965 onwards. The screen dimensions were 75ft x35ft.
The Plaza Theatre was closed in June 1977 and used for a time as both skating rink and restaurant. A Heritage order prevented its demolition until 1995, when Planet Hollywood removed the remainder of the auditorium’s decoration. The foyer is intact and is used as a McDonalds restaurant. Planet Hollywood only lasted a short while, and today the auditorium has been ‘twinned’ with the Plaza Restauraunt operating in the upper half.
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