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Metro Nightclub                    Phee Broadway Theatre             Paddle Steamer Festival,
            Expected to bring more than $7m  Castlemaine Open                  3-4 April.
          when it was auctioned on 28 May,     The refurbishment of the Mechanics  The House Full sign went up at
          CinemaRecord believes that the     Institute, which houses a Library and  Fred Page’s Crest in Bendigo where
          building was passed in at that price and  theatre, has transformed an archaic hall  archival and recent paddle steamer
          that negotiations were continuing.  into a modern performance space. The  films were the prelude to the real thing.
          Opened in 1911, the building was   theatre seats 270 and was packed for  Perfect weather enhanced the outdoor
          known to generations of Melburnians  the opening on 18 June. Funded by Mt.  breaks and garden BBQ. The night
          as a live theatre or cinema - the Palace,  Alexander Shire and the State  screening was MGM’s Showboat.
          St. James and/or Metro Bourke      government, the cost of the new      Next day Bendigo turned on more
          Street. It became a nightclub in 1987.   entrance foyer and stage facilities was  of its renowned autumn weather for the
            For a history of this building see  about $1.4m. Some work on the library  drive to Echuca and the Murray River
          The Fuller Influence page 10.      building is still to be completed.   cruise on P.S. Emmylou. The on-board
                                                                               lunch capped off a fine time.
          Croydon Ritz Cinemas Open
            The Croydon Ritz Cinemas opened
          on 25 March. Initially a seventies
          Village/Dendy partnership, it became an
          independent, was taken over by Hoyts
          and is now independent again.
            Manager George Alexiunas has
          made big improvements and more are
          planned. The original theatre was a
          prime example of the bare, brown brick
          style so popular in the seventies. Now
          red curtains cover the walls, there is a
          new candy bar, new carpets and seats
          and bigger screens. The projectors are
          Kinotron from MGS Services. The
          promise of screen curtains is something
          for patrons to look forward to.

          Capital Bendigo Upgrade
            The new theatre season opened with
                                            The new entrance to the Phee Broadway in Mechanics Lane.
          style at the Capital Bendigo – a
          refurbished interior was as much the
          attraction as the play. The first upgrade  Royal Daylesford
          some 10 years ago accentuated the    The Theatre Royal,
          plaster detailing. The disadvantage of  Castlemaine expanded its
          this approach was reflection of light  franchise at Easter to the
          from the stage to the walls. In this  Daylesford Town Hall,
          update, supervised by Allom Lovell and  which temporarily became
          Associates, the interior has been  the Royal Daylesford.
          darkened at the expense of the     Screenings of the
          decoration. The walls are now a rich  Australian film Loves
          Indian Red and the proscenium arch  Brother, seemed to be well
          and all doors are chocolate.       supported. The projector
            The changes, funded by a         was a Chinese portable,
          Commonwealth grant of about $2m,   placed in the back stalls,
          included a new rake to the floor and  with the film fed from a
          wider seats. Seating capacity is now  platter. Padded conference boards were  CATHS at the Rex Charlton
          485 persons. Not everyone may be in  used as a noise shield around the  22-23 May
          agreement about the walls, but the new  projector. The screen filled the stage  A contingent of forty-three
          carpet is a winner. An original William  space.                      members, some making their first
          Morris design with bold patterns and  Any hope that a film venue in the  CATHS trip, descended on the eastern
          border, the lush carpet covers the  main street could be a permanent  Wimmera town of Charlton for a
          staircase, through the upstairs foyer and  fixture must be on hold now that the  weekend of film, fun and laughter.
          along the aisles.                  parent, the Theatre Royal Castlemaine  Their hosts were Dennis David and
                                             is again for sale by auction. The sale  Steve Walsh, proprietors of the Rex
                                             date is Friday 16 July.           cinema. The feature film was the Ben
                                                                               Stiller and Owen Wilson buddy-cop
                                                                               story Starsky and Hutch, which was
                                                                               followed by a legendary country supper
                                                                               and nostalgia reels.
          6   2004 CINEMARECORD
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