Mandolin Cinema

150 Elizabeth Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Hoyts Cinemas

Functions: Cultural Center

Styles: Romanesque Revival

Previous Names: Australian Hall, Phillip Theatre, Richbrooke Theatre, Rivoli Theatre, Dave's Encore Cinema, Jade Cinema, 42nd Street Cinema, Trak Cinema, New Mandarin Cinema, Mandarin Cinema, Mandolin Cinema, Rialto Mandolin Cinema,

Nearby Theaters

the original hall

Originally built in 1905 as the Concordia Club, a meeting place for the German community which was located on the first floor of the building. Elizabeth Street was widened in 1911 and it was given a new facade designed in a Romanesque Revival style and it reopened on 20th December 1911. During World War I it was in use as a church. In 1923 it was renamed Australia Hall and was used for vaudeville, concerts, dancing, political rallies and some film screenings. It had a seating capacity for 850-seats. It became the Phillip Theatre in 1960, when the Phillip Street Theatre moved into the building and the seating capacity was reduced to 500-seats. In August 1971 it was re-named Richbrooke Theatre. In 1974, it was converted into a cinema with modern decorations and given a new proscenium which was wide enough to screen CinemaScope films. Known as the Rivoli Theatre, opening with Peter Sellers in “The Optimists of Nine Elms” on 5th December 1974. In late-1975 it was briefly subleased to Hoyts.

In early-1976 it was renamed Mandolin Cinema and began screening Chinese films. On 31st January 1977 it was Dave’s Encore Cinema, operated by David Coles screening revival films. It then went back to Chinese films as the Jade Cinema. From 4th September 1981 until December 1981 it operated as the 42nd Street Cinema screening move-overs from other city centre cinemas. It then became the Trak Cinema screening rock films and arthouse revivals. This lasted until the end of 1982. In early-1983 it reopened as the New Mandarin Cinema, again screening Chinese films. It was closed in January 1987. In October 1987 it reopened as the Mandolin Cinema screening repertory programming. and that closed in 1988. Another attempt was made to reopen as the Rialto Mandolin, which only lasted 8 weeks. It remained closed until 16th January 1997 when it became the Mandolin Cinema again, but closed for the final time on 8th October 1997.

It was converted into a cultural centre for the indigenous Aboriginal population.

Contributed by Ken Roe, Ian Hanson & Les Tod

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

John Gaspar
John Gaspar on February 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm

It was Dave’s Encore Cinema for a few years from early 1981 to perhaps 1983 (?) Unfortunately there’s almost nothing online about Dave’s, just some archives newspaper articles. Sad.

John Gaspar
John Gaspar on February 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Oops, had the dates wrong. Dave’s Encore was there in the mid to late 1970s.

tedgz on September 23, 2013 at 4:07 am

Saw some great independent films here in the 1980’s and early 90’s. Good times.

Megalaxis on October 1, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Click on the “PHOTOS” tab (above)

davidcoppock on October 13, 2020 at 4:18 am

Heritage listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2/4/1999. Heritage listed on the Australian National Heritage List on 20/5/2008. The building is now owned and run by tne Metropolitan Aboriginal Association. The name Australia Hall is still on tne front of the building.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.