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ABOVE: Bingara’s Roxy Theatre in April 1936, flanked by cafe and shops.  From ‘Katsehamos and the Great Idea’ © Peter Prineas.

          Earlier writers did not identify the   The chronology of events at Bingara   The first picture theatre, known as Old
          architect of the Bingara Roxy and   can also benefit from some clarification.   Bingara Pictures  or  Finkernagel's
          although Gerry Kennedy acknowledged   Peters and Co were not new arrivals in   Theatre, was established in 1912 by
          similarities with the Embassy Theatre   Bingara when they began building the   William Finkernagel and John  Veness
          in Sydney, he was careful not to add   Roxy Theatre.  They had operated a   on the eastern side of Maitland Street
          to speculation that the  Roxy was the   successful cafe business on the corner   south of the Cunningham Street corner.
          work of Charles Bohringer. I was   of Maitland and Cunningham Streets
          fortunate to find some correspondence   since the mid 1920s.          The second theatre was  Victor
          in NSW State Records identifying Mark                                 Peacocke's old Regent Theatre which
          Woodforde of Sydney as the architect   Two of the partners - Peter Feros and   operated in the  School of  Arts and
          of the Bingara  Roxy. Woodforde  was   I believe also Emanuel Aroney - were   Soldiers' Memorial Hall. The  Old
          retained to prepare and submit plans   at the time of the 'cinema war' in   Regent theatre introduced talkies to
          for the theatre to the Chief Secretary   Bingara, naturalised British Subjects   Bingara and eventually vanquished its
          of NSW whose approval was required   (in those days there was no Australian   competitor, Finkernagel’s  Theatre,
          before the development could proceed.   citizenship as such).         which closed in late 1934.  The third
          The correspondence indicates that                                     theatre was Peacocke's  New Regent,
          Woodforde did not supervise the works.   Bingara has had four picture theatres   a purpose-built structure erected with
          Further research may reveal the name   but only two operated at any one time.   amazing rapidity in 1935 to meet the
          of the builder, but it is fairly clear that                           threat of the coming Roxy Theatre. As
          George Psaltis took a close interest in the                           Gerry Kennedy mentions in his article,
          works and it appears that he personally                               Peacocke's New Regent is still standing
          installed the electrical system despite                               and serves as the town's civic centre.
          having no trade qualification.

          It has been suggested that the timber
          used in the extensive dance floor of the
          Bingara Roxy is kauri pine, however,
          Tony Deakin, the architect employed
          for the restoration, has confirmed that it
          is cypress pine.
                                              The Roxy today.                                    New Regent today.

           8  2011  CINEMAREC ORD
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