Tecoma Star Picture Theatre
1551-1553 Burwood Highway,
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Functions: Dance Studio
Previous Names: Tecoma Star Pictures
The Argus Newspaper (Melbourne, Vic) reported on 18th November 1926 that The Public Health Department sent requisitions for a proposed picture theatre at 1551-1553 Burwood Highway, Tecoma, Vic. (today an extreme West outer suburb of Melbourne, Vic) The matter was referred to the building surveyor. The proprietor was N.F. Easton, a builder, contractor & designer.
The Fern Tree Gully News (Upper Ferntree Gully, Vic) on 5th March 1927 announced “the opening of the Tecoma Star Pictures on 12th March 1927. In addition the contracting business of Mr. Easton will also be conducted from the theatre. Pictures will be screened every Tuesday & Saturday.” The advertisement also advised that “Mrs E. Easton will open a high class cakes, pies, confectionary shop and tearooms at the same premises for the convenience of locals.” The Tecoma Star Pictures was the first cinema in the hills area.
The proprietor N.F. Easton was known for his generosity and there were many instances where he made the theatre available for meetings and fund raising without charge.
Auction- 23rd January 1932: The Argus Newspaper announced under instructions from the mortgagee the auction of a picture theatre, house & dwelling with equipment for showing up-to-date pictures, a shop and dwelling. It would appear that the cinema had run on a regular basis screening silent movies until it was auctioned in 1932.
There is no evidence the the Tecoma Star Theatre was ever converted to ‘Talkies’. Elderly locals have advised that the cinema had many guises after it was sold at auction. Many still remember the historic ‘Wunderlich’ ceiling that was a feature under the front veranda. For a period it operated as a veterinary surgery. The building today is regarded as ‘significant’, but there is no heritage overlay from Yarra Ranges Council. Currently (2023) it is used as a dance studio under the name Dance Empire.
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