Coburg Town Hall
90 Bell Street,
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Previously operated by: Hoyts Theatres
Architects: C.R. Heather
Functions: Special Events
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: City Hall Pictures, Hoyts Town Hall Pictures
Located in the north Melbourne district of Coburg. The foundation stone of the Coburg City Hall was laid on 1st April 1922, by the Earl of Stradbroke, and the Mayor of Coburg E.E. Cash. The hall was built in honour of those who served in World War I and was designed in an Art Deco style by architect C.R. Heather.
The first known major screening was in 1926 by Rudds Bio Entertainment with the one-off roadshow screening of Cecil B. DeMille’s silent epic “The Ten Commandments. Harry Olag Peterson began screening silent movies in 1929 until the council installed Raycophone Sound in 1930 (this was the first installation of Raycophone Sound in Victoria). Business was such that a neon sign was mounted on the decorative dome of the buildings' façade flashing the word ‘Talkies’. During this period the council complained of unsightly placards advertising the screening of pictures in the City Hall, and considered it was the fury of the municipality to preserve the aesthetic appearance of the the civic centre, and was passed by a majority that the council should advise Mr Peterson to have these horrors removed.
Henty Olag Peterson opened the Plaza Theatre in Coburg in 1934, while continuing to run the Coburg City Hall until the arrival of Hoyts in 1939. Hoyts ran the venue under the title Hoyts Town Hall Pictures Coburg until 1951. The Coburg Town Hall had closed for pictures by the end of 1956.
In February 2000 a Blackett & Howden 9 ranks organ with a Christie 3 manual console was installed in the building. The Coburg Town Hall continues to operate with live functions & social gatherings and is regarded as a building of significance, while it currently houses the offices of the Moreland City Council.
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