Palatial Cinema

42 Railway Parade,
Sydney, NSW 2134

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Hoyts Theatres, Western Suburbs Cinemas Ltd.

Architects: E.A. Taylor

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Previous Names: Palatial Burwood Cinema

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Palatial Cinema

The Palatial Burwood Cinema was the first project of the about to be formed Western Suburbs Cinemas Ltd. a circuit which was headed by A.J. Beszant. Located in the Sydney suburb of Burwood, it opened on 14th December 1921. In 1932, it was the first of Western Suburbs Cinemas circuit’s cinemas to have an organ installed, here it was a British made Christie 3Manual/10Rank which was opened by organist Percy Burraston from the Capitol Theatre, Sydney. Other organists to play here were Denis Palmistra, Bert Myers, Knight Barnett, Charles Tuckwell, Paul Cullen, Owen Holland and Barrie Brettoner. Stage shows were also held as part of the programme in the early years.

The Palatial Cinema closed on 13th March 1971 and was then used for a period of time by the Royal Blind Society. It then became a carpet showroom and was demolished in 1978. Today the Burwood Plaza Shopping Centre occupies the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

HowardBHaas on December 3, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Thanks Ken for adding this cinema today!

scroll down to page 17 for vintage photo of auditorium:
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Mark747 on November 20, 2010 at 5:29 am

Auditorium photos from 1942:
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TLSLOEWS on November 20, 2010 at 6:47 am

Very Nice thanks for posting.

nbrettoner on March 30, 2011 at 4:21 am

Hi Ken,
Please add Barrie Brettoner to the list of organists for this theatre.

I’ll email you a chronology of dad’s musical activities.

kind regards

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 23, 2012 at 10:05 am

Photo is of Paul Cullen sitting at the Console of a Mighty CHRISTIE Theatre Pipe Organ, NOT a WurliTizer.

Paul Cullen played Palatial BURWOOD Theatre from 2/34-1/41 alternating every 6 months with Knight Barnett.

The Cristie Theatre Pipe Organ, Opus 2698 (made by Hill, Norman & Beard Ltd.) was a 3/10 (Manual/Rank, Keyboards/Units of Pipes). Originally in 1928 it was installed in Clou Konzert Haus, Berlin, Germany. In 1929 it was supposed to go to Civic, Auckland, N.Z., but it was not sent there. It was installed at the Palatial BURWOOD Theatre in 1932. In 1958 it went to Seventh Day Adventist Church, Wahroonga. In 1999 the console was replaced with a drawstop console. Anyone know what happened to the old console? Any futher news on how the pipes of Opus 2698 are doing at the church?

More photos and info are always welcome!

Manteno, Illinois, USA
MP 47 on IC/CN RR “Main Line of Mid-America”

johnwiltshire on September 16, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Hi all, just fount this wonderful site! I’m enjoying reading about places that I went to as a kid.

I grew up near the Palatial but only went there once in the early 70’s, not long before it stopped operating as a cinema.

There was also a short period when the building was used to house Burwood Municipal Libary after a fire in the library, not sure of the date, but maybe around 1976-1977?

davidcoppock on February 1, 2019 at 12:03 am

There was an open air picture gardens(opened in 1910) on this site(first cinema in Burwood) before the Palatial Cinema, A picture and a little of information about the open air gardens and the Palatial Theatre on the Burwood history walk map(via the website) Hoyts Astor is also briely mentioned under Westfield Burwood Shopping Centre.

davidcoppock on February 1, 2019 at 12:15 am

The open air gardens don’t appear to have a name?

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