New Mentone Theatre

188 Nepean Highway,
Melbourne, VIC 3195

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Taken on: November 27, 2022

Uploaded on: November 26, 2022

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Date time: 2022-11-27 08:21:37 +0000

Date time original: 2022-11-27 08:18:08 +0000

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New Mentone Theatre 188 Nepean Highway, Mentone, VIC

The New Mentone Theatre, located on the corner of Balcombe Road and Point Nepean Road, opened on Saturday 5 May 1928, with live entertainment and movies. Seating catered for 1306. Paramount films presented a double bill, Beau Sabreur supported by Jesse James as the gala program. Although opening in the days of silent movies, Albert Lydford: Builder of The New Picture Theatre at Mentone considered himself an Entrepreneur & a Showman, and was quick to realize talking pictures were the future and installed Western Electric sound equipment. Mentone became the first suburban theatre in Victoria to screen talkies.

The New Mentone was at first run by its builders, Mr A. E. Lydford and his three sons, until the depression in 1931 forced them to sell the theatre. It was then run by Fowler & Carr Theatres Property Ltd, who ran the theatre for most of its life. When the Carr family bought Mentone Theatre they also operated the Paramount at Mordialloc, which in 1938 became The Regent.

The Mentone & Mordialloc theatres began switching the program in 1936, and continued until the closure of both theatres – After the advent of TV in 1956 attendances collapsed. The theatre went dark on September 25, 1961, and was demolished the following year to enable the widening of the Nepean Highway. Fowler & Carr Theatres Property Ltd. were still the operators when it closed. Contributed by Greg Lynch –

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