Page 5 - CR31R.pdf
P. 5

Giant Screens Close
                                                                                   Not a good year for Imax in the
                                                                                smaller cities - Adelaide Imax, only 4
                                                                                years old, closed on January 30 this
                                                                                year. This was followed in April by an
                                                                                announcement in New Zealand by
                                                                                Force Corporation secretary, Peter
                                                                                Holdaway, of the immediate closure of
                                                                                the Auckland Imax Theatre “due to
                                                                                the business not being a viable
                                                                                commercial enterprise”.
                                                                                   The latest closure has been the $9.2
                                                                                million Perth Imax Theatre which
                                                                                closed its doors without notice on June
                                                                                10. The theatre had only opened on
                                                                                December 7, 2000, but also failed to
          Regent Theatre, Wollongong                                            attract sufficient clientele. For some
                                                                                months, leading up until closure, it was
                                                                                screening a mix of Imax product and
                                             Additions get Green Light
                                                                                re-runs of the latest 35mm commercial
            NEWSREEL                    •      After much debate over concerns  features for Ace Theatres Ltd. For
          •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • • •
                                             regarding parking issues, Darebin
                                                                                some time, the building had been
             CINEMA, THEATRE &          •    Council has approved the proposed  advertised for sale by tender, but failed
                                             addition of 3 new screens at the
                                                                                to attract an appropriate buyer.
                                             Northcote’s historic Westgarth     Owner/developers, Multiplex,have
          • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• •  Theatre. The new screens will be  now decided to sell the building
                                             built on land adjacent to the original  outright for $3.95 million. The Sydney,
          Petition to Save Regent            1921 auditorium. The theatre has   Melbourne and Brisbane theatres with
             On Friday 26 April 2002, residents  agreed to take some steps in order to  their larger populations, continue to
          of the Wollongong (NSW) region     promote preferred parking areas and  trade well, and  reports are that
          were informed that Lend Lease, the  assist cyclists etc.              Townsville and Auckland may yet re-
          Sydney-based land speculation and  Theatres to be Demolished          open under new management.
          development company, was proposing
                                               Melbourne’s first purpose-built
          the demolition of that city’s beloved
                                             suburban cinema, the (1911) Prahran
          Regent Theatre, in order to make
                                             Lyric in Chapel Street, is soon to be
          way for yet another supermarket and
                                             demolished to make way for a new
          commercial development complex.
                                             residential and retail complex. The
             Knowledge of this proposal      original street frontage had long since
          immediately engendered feelings of  been replaced by a modern brick bank
          outrage that developers and relevant  building, but the old auditorium had
          authorities including Wollongong City  been retained at the rear and was used
          Council would consider such an idea.  for storage and parking. Only a few  Roxy
             Opened in 1957, The Regent      remnants of its theatrical past    End of an Era at Roxy
          Theatre is still operating as a premier  remained visible in the interior,  Built 72 years ago as a 1,938 seat
          first-run cinema and is cherished by the  including parts of the original pressed-  “picture-palace” in the “spanish style”,
          local community as a unique heritage  iron ceiling.                   the Roxy Theatre at Parramatta
          building which holds many memories   Further along Chapel Street, the  (NSW) sadly closed its doors as a
          and provides a touch of glamour to an  former (1937) Hoyts Windsor is also  cinema on March 27 (2002). The
          otherwise drab city centre.        reportedly seeing out its final days as  theatre had originally opened on
             A “Friends of the Regent        a nightclub, before it too makes way  February 6, 1930, but in 1976 was
          Theatre” group (FORT) evolved and  for yet another residential apartment  “sympathetically” converted to a triple
          has been working diligently to help  building.                        screen venue by Hoyts by dividing the
          ensure the preservation of the theatre,                               former stalls area into 2 smaller
          and The National Trust have                                           auditoriums. Since 1995 the complex
          prepared a statement of significance                                  has been operated by Village Theatres.
          for the building, and given it an urgent                              New Extension Opens
          interim listing on its Register. Your                                    Palace Theatre’s two new screens
          support can be shown by participating                                 at their Balwyn location have opened
          in the “on-line” petition which can be                                in time for the July School Holidays.
          accessed via the FORT website at:                                     The new cinemas, which are quite
                                   luxurious and stylishly decorated,
          which has all the details including                                   replace the groups head-office
          photographs. (There is also a link on                                 building which was located alongside
          our own Caths-V website).                              Former Lyric   the original (1930) Balwyn Theatre –
                                                                                which itself was tripled in 1994.
                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2002     5
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