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film commented about Roxy Theatre on Jun 8, 2022 at 3:51 pm

Roxy Community Theatre

General information Architectural style Art Deco/Art Nouveau/Spanish Mission

Design and construction - Architect Kaberry and Chard architects
New South Wales Heritage Register

Official name Roxy Community Theatre; Roxy Theatre; Big Red Type - State heritage (built) Designated 24 February 2006 Reference No. 1747 - Type Cinema Category Recreation and Entertainment Builders W. H. Hones for George Conson

The Roxy Community Theatre is a heritage-listed cinema, live theatre, theatre, concert venue and meeting venue located at 114-118 Pine Avenue, Leeton in the Leeton Shire local government area of New South Wales, Australia.

It was designed by Kaberry and Chard architects in the Art Deco/Art Nouveau/Spanish Mission style and built from 1929 to 1930 by W. H. Hones for George Conson. It is also known as Roxy Theatre and Big Red. The property is owned by Leeton Shire Council. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 24 February 2006.

History

The Roxy opened 7 April 1930 and was built for Riverina Theatre entrepreneur George Conson. The architects for the theatre were the noted firm of Kaberry and Chard.

The popularity of the Roxy as a theatre name, imported from America’s most famous movie theatre, reflects the importance and worldwide influence of movies and the glamorous American lifestyle depicted in Hollywood films, embraced by Australian society during the 1920s and 1930s inter-war period. The original Roxy Theatre, built in New York in 1927, was the world’s largest showcase cinema from this era of theatrical movie palaces. It was established by and named after the master cinema showman himself, Samuel “Roxy” Rothapfel. “Roxy” as a name thus became synonymous with showmanship and dramatic cinema palaces from the boom time era of movies, wherever American cinema, Pop culture, and the theatrical American movie lifestyle became influential, admired and replicated.

The theatre was built by Mr W. H. Jones (sometimes J. H. Jones), with a seating capacity of 1091 on two levels. The Roxy was built in a modified Spanish Mission Style, with large red neon signs that were visible from a great distance at night, owing to the theatre’s location on top of a hill. As a result, the Roxy was nick-named “Big Red” . These lights were installed in 1933 when a full sized concert stage was constructed to mark its official opening. Australia’s celebrated soprano singer, Miss Gladys Moncrieff OBE, was engaged to sing in October 1933, as part of these opening celebrations.

In 1977 the theatre’s future was threatened with redevelopment. A meeting was called on 2 June 1977 by the Leeton and District Community Advancement Fund where the theatre’s future was discussed including unanimously agreeing that the theatre should be retained as a Civic type building and also should be saved as a picture theatre. On 23 June 1977 the matter on the theatre was discussed further at the Leeton and District Community Advancement Fund’s Annual General meeting with extensive investigations made and convinced of the buildings soundness and viability. The theatre was purchased by the community after a massive fund raising drive. $27,000 was raised by the Save The Roxy Committee and it was purchased for $75,000. Ownership was vested in Leeton Shire Council.

The theatre was progressively upgraded to provide a larger stage area and new dressing rooms, with a present seating capacity of 880 people (414 downstairs and 474 in the upstairs lounge area). It is run by a small part-time staff and a voluntary management committee. In addition to showing regular films, the Roxy is now the venue for eisteddfods, discos, high school speech nights and the musical society’s annual production. It has been restored to its original 1930s style.

Description

The Roxy is a fine example of an Inter-war cinema designed in a modified Art Deco architectural style with Art Nouveau and Spanish Mission elements. The building is constructed of brick walls, with the primary facade rendered, the roof clad in corrugated iron and timber floors. The theatre has a full size concert stage with the original two levels of seating, a foyer and ticket box area and an integrated shop at the west side. Large red neon lettering for “Roxy” is mounted above the roof parapet in three directions, plus extensive neon lighting on the front facade.

Condition

As at 18 May 2005, the theatre is in good condition, although some maintenance required. Heritage Council funding for conservation works to the Roxy Theatre were approved in 1992 for a total of $15,600. In December 2018 the NSW Government announced an additional $3.9 million grant towards a $4.4 million refurbishment of the Roxy Theatre.

The Roxy and associated shop survives virtually intact. - Notes by Wikipedia

Modifications and dates

1933 – Larger concert stage and dressing rooms constructed. 1933 – Facade neon lighting and red neon “Roxy” sign installed, and restored in 1992. 1995-1998 – Electrical upgrade to replace original decayed wiring.

Contributed by Greg Lynch -

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film commented about Regal Marrayatville on Apr 3, 2022 at 1:01 pm

Reference Gromit2022 - Agreed Bob Parr OAM was one of the good guys & a mighty Picture Show Man - Greg L.

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film commented about Architect Percy Rogers Cooke on Feb 18, 2022 at 4:44 am

Alhambra Theatre Riebeeck Street, Cape Town. Designed in 1928 by architect P. Rogers Cooke pictured above.

South Africa’s finest Atmospheric style theatre was designed in 1928 by architect P. Rogers Cooke. It opened in 1929 and had a Wurlitzer 2Manual/8Ranks theatre pipe organ installed which was opened by Max Bruce. The organ was moved to the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town in 1931.

The Alhambra Theatre operated as one of Cape Town’s major cinemas for many years and also presented numerous stage shows well into the 1960’s. The Alhambra Theatre was closed in January 1972 and demolished in 1974.

The organ that was originally in the Alhambra Theatre was installed in the Nico Milan/Artscape Theatre, Cape Town in 1998.

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film commented about Her Majesty's Theatre on Oct 14, 2021 at 5:20 pm

The Empire Theatre under construction 1927 - Later to become Her Majesty’s - Photo By Sam Hood - From the collections of the State Library of New South Wales

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film commented about Northam Town Hall on Aug 21, 2021 at 5:20 pm

Northam Town Hall Wellington Street and Gordon Street, Northam, WA 6401

Town Hall and Lesser Hall Located in Wellington Street, the Town Hall which was designed by Henry Proctor and opened by Sir John Forrest in 1898. It cost £3000 and is typical of the Italianate excesses which was common in Western Australia in the wake of the gold discoveries.

Next door is the Lesser Hall which was designed by P.W. Harrison, constructed in 1936 and cost £1783 to build. They are both listed on the Register of the National Estate and classified by the National Trust. It is described as “Northam Town Hall, a brick structure including two-storey main hall and single-storey lesser hall, with rendered pilasters and pediments and corrugated iron roofs.”

Contributed by Greg Lynch -

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film commented about Capitol Theatre on May 29, 2021 at 7:18 pm

The Capitol Theatre Peterborough was placed on the State Heritage list in 1993.

Contributed by Greg Lynch

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film commented about Oriana Theatre on Apr 17, 2021 at 3:45 pm

Oriana Theatre 177 High Street, Fremantle, WA

Both photos are same theatre. Opened as Hoyts Fremantle in 1938 as in almost last photo In 1949 got a make over in auditorium as in main photo. In 1959 Hoyts sold theatre and in 1960 got a new name Oriana after the ship. In 1968 a new large screen was place in front of the old stage - Roy Mudge.

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film commented about Chelsea Theatre on Mar 8, 2021 at 6:19 pm

Majestic Theatre
172 Flinders Street, Melbourne

The Majestic Theatre opened in 1912, and this photograph is of the theatre after it was remodelled in 1936. The remodelling of the theatre, which included bold electric signage, and a new entrance on Flinders Street surrounded by black glass, was designed by Cowper, Murphy and Appleford. The firm was experienced in cinema architecture, and were the architects of the Sun Theatre in Yarraville, familiar to many.

The remodelling in 1936 removed many of the quirks of the original design by Klingender & Alsop and Nahum Barnet. It also brought it up to date, so as to compete with the ‘picture palaces’ built from the 1920s, such as the nearby State Theatre at the corner of Russell and Flinders Streets. The sign ‘Thoroughbred’ promotes the Australian film released in 1936, based in part on the story of Phar Lap, which played at the Majestic. Visible at left in this photograph is part of the Ball & Welch department store.

As with many cinemas, the Majestic went into decline after the introduction of television in 1956. It was renamed the Chelsea in 1960 and modernised. The theatre closed in 1979, and was demolished in 1986.

Photograph: Commercial Photographic Company Source: Harold Paynting Collection State Library of Victoria

Contributed by Greg Lynch -

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film commented about Total Theatre on Dec 7, 2020 at 6:00 pm

Total Theatre 172 Russell Street, Melbourne, VIC

Victorian Heritage Database place details - 8/12/2020 Total House / Car-park /Cabaret / Cinema / Night-club

Location: - 170-190 Russell Street,, MELBOURNE VIC 3000 - Property No B7018 Heritage Inventory (HI) Number:

Statement of Significance: Total House, comprising the Total Car Park, Total Office building and basement Total Theatre, was built in 1964-5. It was built on land purchased by the City of Melbourne between 1959 and 1961 for the purpose of providing car parking. The site was leased by early 1963 for 75 years to the Savoy Car Park Company, who built the structure. This company was associated with Gordon Banfield, whose architectural firm Bogle Banfield and Associates, were responsible for the design of Total House, with Bernard Joyce as the project architect. Banfield and his companies owned or developed many car-parks and entertainment venues in the CBD in the 1960s and 70s. The creation of a theatre/nightclub in the basement was reported as an exciting innovation for the period.

The car-park and office building have been in continuous use since the building’s completion, while the nightclub has gone through a number of transformations. It opened as the Paris-style Lido nightclub, which provided a new type of entertainment for Melburnians. The Lido allowed patrons to enjoy dinner and drinks while watching elaborate floor shows. It hosted acts including Winifred Atwell, Eartha Kitt, Shirley Bassey, and risqué ‘nude revues’ until 1972. Since 1980 it has been a music and dance venue known as The Billboard nightclub.

Most of the shopfronts and the entry were altered in the 1980s or 1990s, and the concrete balustrades of the carpark were painted in the 1980s. The building is a reinforced concrete construction, with seven elevated parking decks, and four levels of offices over a smaller area elevated above the top deck. The car-park levels are utilitarian in design and horizontal in form, joined by a pair of ramps, with columns inset about two metres from all edges. The almost solid balustrades, relieved only by long horizontal slots, dominate the appearance of the building from the street and create a strong horizontal effect. The office block, which is raised high above the top car-park level on inset columns, takes the form of an almost solid box open only to the north and south through deeply inset curtain walls. The effect has been likened to an old-style giant TV set. There are panels of brown brick at ground level on the Little Bourke Street and lane way sides, near the car entry, and around the lift doors, mostly painted.

The carpark lifts are located on the rear boundary, though the Russell Street office lifts also once served the carpark. The shopfronts have mostly been altered; those on Russell Street have been brought forward from their original setback alignment. The office/nightclub lift opens directly onto Russell Street through a small lobby. An angled glass canopy has been added at ground level along Russell Street obscuring the first level balustrade of the car-park.

Total House is significant for architectural and historical reasons at a State level Architecturally, Total House is a landmark of post WWII modernist design, both in form and function. The design uses a cantilevered concrete structure to create bold gestures and to achieve strong forms, clearly defining the two main functions. It is one of the earliest expressions of Brutalist architecture in Victoria, and a rare example of architecture influenced by Japanese Brutalist architecture of the 1950s and early 1960s. The unpainted concrete, stacked car park decks, and in particular the balustrades, are thought to have been specifically influenced by the 1958 Kagawa Prefectural Offices, designed by the highly influential Japanese architect Kenzo Tange.

Aesthetically, Total House is a bold expression of sharply defined and floating forms. The TV-like office block, with its deeply recessed curtain walls set within a solid box, floats futuristically above the main body of the strongly horizontal carpark levels, which themselves appear to float one above the other. Historically, Total House exhibits the highest degree of architectural interest of all the multi-level car-parks built in the 1950s and 1960s in Melbourne. It is one of three whose construction was instigated by the City of Melbourne, representing their reaction to the increasing need for car parking spaces in the CBD. It is also unique for the period in combining car-park, offices and an entertainment venue, where theatre-goers or office workers could ‘drive-in’ and simply take a lift to their destination.

The theatre - ‘The Lido’

The theatre space was probably the only purpose built nightclub at the time, and during its period as ‘The Lido’, was certainly the most extravagant nightclub experience available in the city. Total House is also significant for its association with Gordon Banfield, an architect, developer and theatrical entrepreneur. His companies owned, designed and built at least six multi-level car-parks in the CBD, three of them associated with entertainment venues. He was described as the largest landowner in the CBD in the mid 1970s. His architectural firm Bogle Banfield & Associates are known for a number of landmark buildings in Melbourne.

Classified : 20/05/2013

Contributed by Greg Lynch -

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film commented about Memorial Hall on Nov 13, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Cheltenham’s picture theatre #

From the 1920’s until the 1950s, the hall served as Cheltenham’s picture theatre with regular showings of films and newsreels. The first public viewing of television in Cheltenham took place at the hall. The hall remained in use by the RSL until the late 1970s when it became Columns Receptions. It has subsequently been used as a bingo hall and more recently as Fernwood Female Fitness Centre.

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film commented about Exmouth Outdoor Movies on Oct 25, 2020 at 3:01 pm

Hi Kenneth – There may well have been a seasonal outdoor theatre back in 2001, although in this case there is no official record. Previously there was a drive in theatre & gardens at Exmouth, also a theatre and gardens at the naval base. Sadly for those who remember what real cinema was all about, times have changed for ever. – Regards Greg Lynch

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film commented about Wirrina Drive-In on Oct 1, 2020 at 7:19 am

Wirrina Drive-In Walter Road W. and Collier Road, Morley, WA

Fact Sheet #

A projection box and control room built above the concession building and a 600-seat lounge building for the convenience of nearby residents and riders of motor scooters are among the unique features of the 500-car Wirrina Drive-in… Seating in the lounge is positioned to give maximum view while the high-sited control-room allows drive-in officials to keep a close watch on the functioning of every part of the theatre and to correct any problems which may arise without delay. Spacious concession building backs the patron lounge and provides a wide variety of foodstuffs and confectionery, etc.

A receptionist is also on duty to provide reading and writing materials for patrons. Children’s playground is located near the concession building for utmost convenience and includes a miniature train among its attractions for youngsters… Color tones throughout Wirrina are attractive, an unusually effective touch being provided by the foam rubber seating in the lounge with its green backs and red seats.

Dominating the Wirrina scene is the screen which stands 60 ft above the ground and is stressed with steel and concrete. Measuring 32ft by 90ft it is believed to be the only screen of its type in Australia and is designed to give the brightest and sharpest picture possible. (Film Weekly, 2 April 1959)

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film commented about Acme Gardens on Sep 18, 2020 at 10:36 pm

Doubleview Gardens Muriel Avenue, Woodlands, WA – Opened 1954, later to become Acme Gardens in 1956 – Closed 1960.

Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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film commented about Mermaid Cinema Centre on Sep 4, 2020 at 7:52 pm

Mermaid Cinema Centre 2506 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach, QLD

First opened in the early 1980s, the complex was at one point the largest cinema in Queensland with five theatres seating up to 1600 people.

Contributed by Greg Lynch

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film commented about Grand Theatre on Aug 13, 2020 at 10:35 pm

Grand Theatre 164-168 Murray Street, Perth, WA – 1935

Photo – School children gathered outside the Grand Theatre to watch Mrs Wiggs and the cabbage patch.

Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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film commented about Seaford Hall on Jul 21, 2020 at 12:20 am

Seaford Hall Station Street and Broughton Avenue, Melbourne, VIC – Photo – Seaford Community Center currently sits on this site.

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film commented about Narrow Gauge Drive-In on Jul 15, 2020 at 3:35 pm

davidcoppock – Are the cars in the above photo parked between rails?

Answer – There are different levels for improved sight-lines with safety barriers – GL

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film commented about Interior of the Capri Cinema, 1969 on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:14 pm

Capri Theatrette 721 Hay Street, Perth, WA – 1969

Photo: State Library of WA

Photo : 1969 Audience seated in the Capri Cinema for premier screening of Tjilla Trail made by BP Australia.

Summary of the Tjilla Trail Building the 265-mile railway linking the Mount Newman iron mine with Port Hedland, W.A., showing rapid mechanical construction methods with impressions of the country and its wild life – Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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film commented about Regent Theatre 191 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 – 1956 "The King & I " in CinemaScope 55 on May 29, 2020 at 6:10 am

1955 Carousel in CinemaScope 55 – Personally I thought that the 35mm reduction print from the original 55mm negative (55.625mm) was sensational. The image on the Regent screen was as sharp & as sweet as anything I have ever seen. I wish they had continued with this format. “The King & I” in CinemaScope 55 was good, but nothing like Carousel – One man’s opinion ! – Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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film commented about Palais Theatre on May 29, 2020 at 2:35 am

Think that there was only ever a single operating bio-box, however at one stage it was moved to another location, and the space replaced with lighting equipment – GL

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film commented about Chinese Gardens Theatre on Apr 8, 2020 at 5:45 pm

Chinese Gardens Theatre North Terrace & Frome Road, Adelaide, SA 5000 – Grand opening Fri Nov 13, 1936.

(Source) The Mail (Adelaide, SA : Sat 7 Nov 1936 Page 1

*Chinese Gardens Opening

One more sign of approaching summer — on Friday night the Chinese Gardens Theatre on North terrace will open its doors to open-air picture-goers, and the first programme to be presented will feature the musical ‘production “Show Boat” starring Paul Robeson, Allan Jones, & Irene Dunne.

Fragrant blooms

Electricians, painters, and gardeners are all doing their part to help the theatre shed its winter disguise — rockeries are covered with fragrant blooms, and the shrubs planted specially for the coming season are in leaf. Electricians are at work erecting hundreds of feet of coloured festooning. and even the huge dragon above the proscenium seems interested in the proceedings – Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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film commented about Empire Theatre on Mar 27, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Empire Theatre 294 Sydney Road, Brunswick, VIC

The Empire Theatre stood mighty on Sydney Road in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Brunswick from as early as 1911, and spanned across decades, until 1976 when it tragically burnt down – Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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film commented about Kyneton Town Hall on Mar 26, 2020 at 2:24 pm

Kyneton Shire Hall 141 Mollison Street, Kyneton, VIC.

Kyneton Shire Hall Located at 129 Mollison Street, the Kyneton Shire Hall is recognised as one of the most substantial Shire Halls in Victoria. It was built in 1878-1879 and added to in 1929. The Heritage Register records that “The principal elevation of the Shire Hall is significant for the unusual architectural synthesis of elements of the first stage designed by the important architect William Pritchard, and the second stage designed by theatre and civic hall specalists Richardson and Wood some fifty years later. Both designs are characteristic of their individual eras while forming an architecturally unified whole.

Cinema

The 1929 internal alterations which were designed to provide a combined picture theatre/hall are less sympathetic to the original than the exterior works, but are an important manifestation of the recognition of the desire of communities to adapt to the growing popularity of the cinema in the 1920s – Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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film commented about St. George's Theatre on Mar 23, 2020 at 8:14 pm

St. George’s Theatre 34 Birmingham Street, Yarraville, VIC

Statement of Significance –

The former St Georges Theatre is significant to the City of Maribyrnong because: – its creation was heralded with much enthusiasm by the community and its leaders and has been a major social gathering place within the City over a long period ( Criterion A4, G1); – it was the setting for expression of dissent to conscription in the World War One era plus other events such as bitter conflict among the City’s youth ( Criterion A4); – its upper facade shows great architectural invention, using the Romanesque revival (Criterion F1); and – it is a prominent landmark within the Yarraville railway precinct, relating closely with much of the adjacent significant architecture, but identifiable as a public auditorium among the commercial and transport structures nearby which make up the precinct – Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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film commented about Kingscote Public Hall on Mar 23, 2020 at 5:27 pm

Kingscote Public Hall 43 Dauncey Street, Kingscote, SA

HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION: The District Council was first proclaimed on 5th January 1888 and the meeting took place in the Queenscliffe Hotel. The original Council Chambers were constructed in 1898 with meetings up until this time held at the Hotel. On 26 October

1903, the name of the town of Queenscliffe was changed to Kingscote. In 1912 a larger hall was erected behind the original building. The two storey building facing Dauncey Street and incorporating two shopfronts, which was constructed in 1955, is the work of Adelaide architect and contractors Walter D Cowell of William M Essery and Sons Pty Ltd.The additions incorporated the earlier hall on the site. Internally, the complex retains much of its original detailing.

There are important items of local art in the building, including the mural displayed in the foyer which was designed and embroidered by Kangaroo Island CWA members. In the main hall is a second mural designed by Ben Gerdsen and crafted by the Kangaroo Island Spinners and Weavers. Prints on the stair well depict The Investigator and Le Geographe. The building continues to provide a focal civic and cultural function within Kingscote – Contributed by Greg Lynch –