Astra Theatre

57 Macquarie Street,
Sydney, NSW 2150

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Greater Union Theatres, Hoyts Theatres

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

under construction, 1927

Located in the western Sydney suburb of Parramatta, at the corner of Macquarie Street and Marsden Street. The Astra Theatre opened on 21st November 1935. It was equipped with a Christie 2Manual organ, which comprised of pieces from other organs, and was opened by organist Penn Hughes. The console had an illuminated surround.

The Astra Theatre suffered a small fire in the stage area in 1938. The Astra Theatre continued to operate until 1977, then it was leased out and reopened in 1981, closing on 10th September 1984. It was taken over by Greater Union on 15th August 1985, reopening with Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future”. It was closed with Tom Cruise in “Top Gun”

It was demolished and Great Union Cinemas built and opened their Greater Union Movies 3 on the site (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures).

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

GraemeEdwards on July 2, 2011 at 5:20 am

Hoyts accidently sold the property to an agent for Greater Union and they built a triple in the 80s which still stands and some screens converted to a Health Centre.

Astratrayboy on May 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I worked at the Astra as a “trayboy” for about 2 years in the early 60’s. The Astra was one of only 2 cinemas in Sydney to have the “TODD-AO” projection system with the massive curved screen & 6 track stereophonic sound.

We screened “Cleopatra” after it’s “roadshow” run at the Mayfair theatre in Castlereagh street in the city. We had reserved seating & phone reservations (how things have changed) & the film ran for several months.

I remember how exciting it was to hear the overture played with the beautiful gold cutrains still closed & then they opened to show that massive screen. Such wonderful memories for a teenager in those days.

johnph on June 26, 2014 at 7:46 pm

I worked there 1967/68 there abouts as assistant operator.70mm films I remember My Fair Lady,The great race&Battle of the bulge [Cinerama print from the Plaza in Sydney] which was a real poor presentation as the Astra only had Todd lenses. It looked like c/scope running w/screen lenses.The other weird thing was a film Ithink it was called ‘Across the top’ came from the Palace in pitt st city,a 16mm print complete with 16mm RCA projector & corbon arc.Kel Ball was on hand to set it up.[real poor presentation].Half way thru the first spool the take up shaft failed and there was film all over the floor and a half hour break with house lights half up while we made atemp fix to finish the session.The milk bar a couple of doors up made great burgers.

baysidepete on December 30, 2022 at 4:34 pm

Info incorrect - ‘Back to the Future’ actually opened the old Astra when it was bought by GU in 1985. GU painted and dressed it up until they demolished it to make way for the GU 3. Last movie at the GU Astra was ‘Top Gun’

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