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LETTERS                                                                   from Brian Miller

            Mr. Russell Nowell queries the closing date of the Broadway Theatre, Camberwell. My recollections are that
            Hoyts Theatres Ltd. sold three properties in 1978, each on different terms.

            1.    The Broadway, Camberwell was retained on a one year lease only and closed in 1979.  Quite by chance,
                  I attended the final screening and the attraction was "Midnight Express", on a Saturday night. Arriving
                  late at about 8.20p.m.,  I was advised the balcony was full but there were some seats in the stalls.  The
                  reason for this was many of the rows had already been detached and pushed together ready for removal.
                  Shops were subsequently built on the site. an unimpressive replacement for this large, popular cinema.

            2.    The Centre, North Brighton had closed in 1959 and the auditorium used as a theatrical store/warehouse.
                  Tenants rented the foyers and shop. The new owner/developer gutted all the interior and the front wall
                  and built the present day Brighton Bay Twin Cinemas upstairs, within the shell of the original 1920
                  building.  Re-opening was in 1980.  During the re-building, the old silent painted screen was revealed on
                  the back wall. This site is one of a handful around Melbourne that closed and eventually re-opened.

            3.    The Bentleigh Theatre was retained on a long lease and finally closed in May, 1984. Following complete
                  remodelling around 1948/1949, it was a highly successful cinema, with advance booking on Friday and
                  Saturday nights essential in the 1950's. As recently as 1982, a ten week season of "The Man From
                  Snowy River" showed the public had not forgotten the Bentleigh. This auditorium was also demolished in
                  favour of more retail outlets, but the original shops facing Nicholson Street were retained and are used
                  to this day.

                  Other closings were:              Windsor Theatre, 1962
                                                    Southern Hampton, 1964
                                                    Renown Elsternwick 1970
                                                    Regent South Yarra, 1970
                                                    Victory, St.  Kilda, 1971 .

                  Earlier closings after television were:  Regent Gardiner 1955
                                                    Carnegie 1955
                                                    Glenhuntly 1959
                                                    Empress Prahran 1959.

             LYRIC THEATRE 241-247 Johnston Street, Fitzroy                                  by Brian Miller

             Mr. Nicholas Dattner stated recently on 3AW he had moved his quality furniture-making business to this
             address and has re-named the building The Lyric Theatre. The premises are open seven days a week and
             visitors are welcome.

             Mr. Dattner was not available on the morning of my inspection but a staff-member was most helpful and
             enthusiastically answered by questions.

             The foyers. stage, and dress circle have been gutted but the bowed-steel roof beams and pressed metal
             ceiling remain.  A row of port-hole shaped ventilation windows run along each side wall. typical of very early

             The rear wall shows part of a painted proscenium back-drop with the initials S.T. at the top.  Does any-one
             know if this was a circuit operating the various Lyrics at Brunswick and Prahran or did it have an earlier
             name?  A loading bay remains from the MacRobertson chocolate factory era.

             Mr. Dattner stated on the radio that the Johnston Street area had from eight to ten theatres, so if you have
             any details a letter to the above address would be appreciated.

             An interesting comment from this present-day generation staff member was - What an opportunity the
             Burnley Theatre presents for restoration!
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