Palace Theatre

255 Pitt Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Hoyts Theatres

Architects: Clarence Backhouse, Cedric Heise Ballantyne

Firms: Ballantyne & Hare

Styles: Moorish, Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

50's B Movie era

Located in Sydney city centre. Built in 1896 by George Adams and attached to his Tattersalls Hotel, the Palace Theatre was a mini-opera house in looks and a vaudeville-variety house by trade. Originally designed in a Moorish style by architect Clarence Backhouse, the Palace Theatre had its auditorium completely redone by architectural firm Ballantyne and Hare in 1923. Gone were the Moorish embellishments and in was the popular Classical Revival look.

From the Depression to World War II, the Palace Theatre operated as a cinema, managed by Hoyts Theatres. It was home to family films, like the Fox made Shirley Temple films, and post-war it went British, with the Wilcox-Neagle films of love among the upper classes.

In the 1950’s, following a few years of live theatre use, it ran double bills of westerns and sci-films, and even a few revivals like “King Kong”. CinemaScope was a problem due to the very small stage and proscenium width. It was a cheat, as the masking dropped from the top to show a ‘wide screen’. On 4th January 1970 last film to play was “Skippy and the Intruders” starring Ed Devereaux.

As city theatres closed in the multiplex era the Palace Theatre briefly reverted to live theatre use before it was demolished along with Tattersalls Hotel in 1970.

Contributed by john gleeson

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on December 13, 2012 at 7:10 am

A picture of the Palace Theatre in Sydney, taken sometime between 1927 and 1931, can be seen here.

AnthonyLeKoala
AnthonyLeKoala on January 8, 2022 at 10:41 pm

Many more pictures of the theatre can be found in a photo essay by Prof. Ross Thorne at http://www.rossthorne.com/downloads/Palace_theatre.pdf

Prior to “The Palace’s” demolition in 1970, it reverted to live theatre. This document gives an idea on other features of the theatre, https://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/palace_theatre.

The last movie to be shown at “The Palace” was “Skippy and the Intruders” between the 12th December 1969 and 4th January, 1970, source: https://www.ozmovies.com.au/movie/intruders.

A reasonable quality digitally restored movie of “Skippy and the Intruders” is found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxohPSyJXGc

The Sydney Hilton occupies the space of the former “The Palace”.

Thank you,
Anthony of Sydney

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