525 George Street,
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Previously operated by: Greater Union Theatres
Firms: Crick and Furse
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Colonial No. 2 Theatre, Empress Theatre, Victory Theatre
The Colonial No. 2 Theatre was built by J.D.Williams in 1910 and renamed the Empress Theatre onAugust 26, 1912 when taken over by Union Theatres. The opening films at the Empress Theatre were “Into the Jungle” & “A Romance of the Border”.
It was demolished in 1939, replaced by a Streamline Moderne style design cinema by architectural firm Crick and Furse, which was named Victory Theatre. The opening program was a double bill of Leslie Howard in “Pygmalion” and Niall MacGinnis in “The Edge Of The World”. For most it its life the Victory Theatre showed action movies. Along with the Capitol Theatre it was Greater Union Theatre’s main outlet for Columbia and Paramount B’s. In 1956 Bill Haley in “Rock Around The Clock” ran for 12 weeks, the only long run ever at the Victory Theatre.
As the Rapallo Theatre it showed classier films but was marked for demolition when Greater Union Theatres decided to built a multi-screen complex next to the huge Hoyts complex (today operating as the Greater Union Event Theatres). The National Trust objected, trying to save the last remaining Streamline Moderne style theatre in the city centre, basically unchanged since 1938.
The Rapallo Theatre and adjacent Paramount Theatre were both demolished in 1984.
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