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For its part, the Piccadilly was re-  Of interest to CATHS’ visitors on  Roadshow Film Distributors was
          modelled in 1982 to accommodate two  the 2005 tour: Christchurch     born in the 1960s, with Greater Union
          additional smaller theatres. Between  businessman David Henderson is  taking a one third holding in the
          them, half a dozen recent release  reported to have sold the Odeon   company.
          movies can be seen on any given day.  building to an Australian property  A circuit of city cinemas was
            Cinemagoers prepared to do a little  developer who intends to continue the  acquired in Melbourne - City Cinemas -
          legwork have another option - the art-  conversion back to a theatre.   to avoid confusion with the drive-ins.
          house Cinema Paradiso in the                                         They included the Roma and East End
          Northbridge entertainment and dining  Reporting by: Steve Maggs Qld.,  (Bourke Street), Capitol and Swanston
          precinct. This stylish venue is a   Ian Hanson NSW, David Kilderry   (Swanston Street) and Australia
          member of the Luna Palace Theatres  and Brian Hunt Vic., Ray Peck Tas.,  (Collins Street) - all prime locations.
          stable.                             Colin Flint SA, Peter Jackson WA  Similar outlets were acquired or built in
                                              and David Lascelles and Tony
            Suburban Perth is still home to half                               other capital cities. Roadshow was now
                                              Froude NZ.
          a dozen grand deco theatres, most of                                 the Australian outlet for Warner Bros.
          them now two-screens. They include                                   product.
          the popular Astor in Mount Lawley, the                                  Village City Centre Bourke Street
          Windsor in Nedlands, Cygnet at    OBITUARIES                         Melbourne and Village Cinema City in
          Como, the Luna (formerly New                        Roc Kirby        George Street Sydney became the
          Oxford) at Leederville, Regal Subiaco                  The founder   flagships of a circuit that grew to be the
          (now mainly live theatre) and the                   of Village       largest in those cities.
          Camelot outdoor at Mosman Park.                     Roadshow            Village Knox City (1988) was the
                                                              Corporation, Roc
          NEW ZEALAND                                                          company’s first multiplex - ten screens
                                                              Kirby died at the  - built in association with Greater
            New Zealand’s Motion Picture
                                                              age of 89 on     Union/Warners. Over the next 15 years
          Distributors Association reports that
                                                              Friday 25        Village expanded to be the largest
          box office trade for November 2007
                                                              January.         cinema group outside North America,
          was the worst month since 1967.
                                                                 When Roc’s    with screens in some 20 countries.
          Christmas and New Year was also a
                                                              father George
          disaster. Despite this gloom some                                       Roc, along with Graham Burke and
                                                              moved the family
          venues prosper, some turn to alternative                             later sons John and Robert, continued
                                                              from a South-
          uses in the ‘off’ hours while others fade                            the growth. The Village video arm
                                                              Gippsland farm
          away. Some examples:                                                 became Australia’s largest distributor,
                                                              in the 1920s to  while radio network Austereo
            Still in expansion mode, Reading
                                            settle in Geelong, taking a lease on the  dominates the commercial FM market.
          are looking at taking over the
                                            closed Wintergarden theatre changed  Their theme parks include Sea World,
          Downtown, Palmerston North. This is
                                            their lives. After early struggles the  Movie World and Outback Adventure.
          the only cinema in a vast area and a
                                            family grew a small circuit of cinemas -
          location important to distributors.                                     Village entered film production in
                                            Kirby Theatres - mostly on
            In Hastings, the former State,  Melbourne’s outskirts.             the 1970s. They had an immediate hit
          which houses the city’s only multiplex                               with Alvin Purple. A production
                                               After war service Roc played a
          (four-screens), is for sale. Reading is                              partnership with Warner Bros. and
                                            large part in the company. In the 1950s
          tipped to buy the building.                                          others is now the lynch pin of the
                                            he took a chance. Company          company’s entertainment and media
            Lighthouse Cinema Petone is to  accountants Bill Spencer and Ted
          get a third screen, but the troubled  Alexander suggested building a drive-  businesses. Hits include The Matrix
          Lighthouse Upper Hutt was heading  in. It turned out to be a complicated  trilogy, Oceans 13, Happy Feet and I
          for a mortgagee sale. Film supply  and expensive move, but in December  Am Legend.
          problems and opening of the Ascot  1954 Village Croydon opened its      Roc stayed involved to the end,
          (four-screens) have taken a toll.   gates, only 11 months after the debut of  maintaining his office at the Village
            Wellington’s Paramount, a large  Australia’s first drive-in, Skyline  Centre Bourke Street, even after the
          auditorium, is leased to a church group  Burwood.                    exhibition arm had relocated to South
          on Sunday mornings.                  ‘Village’ was a name in keeping
            SkyCity ten-screen will open    with other businesses in Croydon:     Roc leaves wife Beatrice and sons
          March 2008 at Westfield Mall on   Village Baker, Village Grocer etc. Thus  Robert and John. He married Beatrice
                                                                               while on leave in 1942. They worked
          Albany’s North Shore.             Village Drive-in Theatres was born.
                                                                               hand in hand on every Village venture,
            More boutique cinema and cafes are  Croydon was followed by Rowville,  true partners for 65 years. Roc
          opening. Latest is Lizzy B’s at Kaiapoi,  Essendon, Sunshine, Brooklyn and  (Roscoe) Kirby changed the face of
          a two-screen DVD operation.       Reservoir until everyone in Melbourne  entertainment in Australia. He was
            For sale in Methven: boutique two-  lived near a Village (or Hoyts) version.  Australia’s last great cinema
          screen (16 and 33 seats) cinema in  Village had around 40 drive-in screens  entrepreneur. - David Kilderry
          central location, three years old.  under their control by the 1970s.
          Offered as a going concern. Methven is
          close to the Mt Hutt snowfields. Asking
          price is $80,000.

          6   2008 CINEMARECORD
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