441 Toorak Road,
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Rising up amongst the small shopping strip of Melbourne’s fashionable Toorak, the Village Theatre was equally as luxurious as the suburb it was built in. Opened by Stanley Argyle in 1936, the Village Theatre was designed by the noted architect, Charles Hollinshed. The same architect was responsible for the Art Deco interior of Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s theatre in 1934.
A number of features in a simmilar vain to the formentioned Her Majesty’s could be found in the Village. They included walnut panelling in the foyer and lounges. Comfortable padded seating throughout the auditorium. The actual cinema was high and narrow. The proscenium was 30ft wide (9m). The auditorium was only 58ft wide (17.7m).
Many features appeared to be based on those of the British Odeon circuit at the time, including the brick facade.
The Village Theatre was acquired by Consolidated Theatres which operated theatres in various suburbs including Albert Park and Richmond. Television made a sudden impact on the box office and it was closed in 1958. It was in the process of being converted into a ‘live’ theatre in 1963, when the building caught fire and the remains were demolished later that year.
Despite the name, it never had any connection to Village Theatres or Village/Warner. A new cinema seating 550 and called the Trak Cinema opened on the site in 1969. It too has now closed
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