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power had to be supplied to this                                     These acquisitions bring Readings to 19
          building as direct current. Naturally,  •                        •   locations. Potential buyers are wary of
                                             •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • • •
          when the State closed to be twinned,  ••  NEWSREEL               ••  the Victoria Gardens site where
          the DC supply was stopped and the  ••  CINEMA, THEATRE &         •   underperformance is compounded by
          building was re-wired for A.C.    •                              ••  the rental asked by the Richmond
            The only other theatre that I know  ••  SHOWBUSINESS NEWS •        landlord.
          of that ran on D.C. was the Capitol,  • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• •  Wait and See in Collins Street
          and this was converted to A.C. in
          about 1951.                       Sale of Cinema Centre, Bourke         After four years of legal wrangles
          Don Kennedy, (Home again in Port  Street.                            the challenges to the proposed
                                                                               development of 171 Collins Street,
          Melbourne)                           Hoyts Cinema Centre, sold to
                                            Drapac Property, is likely to become a  known to CATHS members as the
          More Seats Than People            bulk goods retail space. (The Age,  Auditorium/Metro Collins Street have
            Ian Hanson’s story on the Regent  March 31) The sale price was a   been resolved. The owners, Adam
          Fitzroy (CinemaRecord 43) was very  reported $14.4 m for the 13 storey  Garrison’s Wetherby Capital have
          interesting. Apart from proximity to the  building that was Australia’s first  approval to proceed with a $145m, 19
          city, another problem for this    multiplex (1969). It includes 10 levels  level residential, office and retail
          impressive theatre was competition  of office space. Hoyts will re-locate to  development. However, Wetherby
          from large capacity cinemas nearby,  Melbourne Central where a 12 screen  Capital is now considering whether it
          some showing the same first-week  complex is under construction.     might offer the site to the market.
          release program. The Merri North
          Fitzroy and the Austral further along
          Johnston Street both had 1590 seats,
          and the latter showed three nights with
          the Regent and three nights of
          Independent releases with the Adelphi
          North Carlton. To the south-east, Hoyts
          barn-like Cinema Richmond added a
          whopping 2431 seats.
            These large capacity houses meant
          that even major releases could only run
          three nights and a second, mid week
          show was essential. In 1956 the Regent
          Fitzroy was one of seven locations
          offering a Wednesday ‘Ranch Night’,
          presumably to bolster mid-week
          Brian Miller, Brighton

                                            Outside Hoyts Cinema Centre. Remember when the lights ran the length of the veranda
           Editors Note. Brian’s mention of
                                            and the shows were advertised above the doors as three-way sliding panels?
           the Cinema Richmond requires a
           correction to the table on page 20 of  Anderson Update              (The Age, 5 June 2004). Whatever
           the Regent Fitzroy article. Cinema
                                               The Anderson multiplexes for sale  happens above and behind the
           Richmond was the third largest
                                            in Victoria were the nine-screen   brickwork, the street frontage does have
           suburban house, which puts Regent
                                            operations at Victoria Gardens     heritage protection.
           Fitzroy into fourth place. According
                                            Richmond, a five-screen multiplex at
           to Alan Windley, an audience of                                     New Screens Confirmed For
                                            Woodgrove Shopping Centre in outer
           1,100 at Richmond was considered                                    Westgarth
                                            suburban Melton and another five
                                                                                  Westgarth’s manager Michael
                                            screens at the Sunbury Shopping
                                                                               Yiannoudes has said that the
                                            Centre. Initially three other cinemas –
                                                                               development of three 70–seat cinema
                                            in Colac, the suburb of Epping (both
                                                                               auditoriums will take place on the site
                                            Victoria) and Salisbury in South
                                                                               of an adjacent shop, also owned by the
                                            Australia were not for sale. Salisbury is
                                                                               Yiannoudes family. The original 88
                                            a joint venture with Hoyts.
                                                                               year-old cinema will remain intact. The
                                               Readings Cinemas have bought
                                                                               additional screens will provide program
                                            Melton, Sunbury, Colac, and Epping plus
                                                                               flexibility. (The Age, 1 May 2004)
                                            two sites under construction in Adelaide
                                            and Sydney. (The Age, 9 June).

                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2004     5
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