Page 8 - CR
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The End?

                                                                                 Kevin Adams provides a brief glimpse
                                                                                 into the history of a true survivor of the
                                                                                       Sydney cinema scene.

             n the border of the inner suburbs  The theatre was renovated in 1920
         Oof Paddington and Darlighurst,    when it came under the control of
          Wests Olympia Theatre was         Union Theatres who in the mid 1930’s
          constructed on the site of Marshalls  carried out a major modernisation of
          Brewery by T.J Wests Pictures who  the venue as “New Wests” which
          were busy establishing a chain of  included a new plaster proscenium,
          picture-theatres throughout Australia.    walls, ceiling, carpets and lighting.
            The huge auditorium seated some    In alignment with their other
          2500 patrons over two levels and often  suburban locations, in 1954 the theatre
          boasted “The largest screen in    was again renovated and renamed “The
          Sydney”. Boxing Night 1911 saw    Odeon” and continued as such until
          Wests Olympia open to the public with  closure in 1961 when it was stripped of
          the silent feature film “The Power of  fittings and equipment and building
          Love”.                            eventually sold.
                                               Greek films were then screened by
                                            the Mr. Chris Luis of the Luis Film
                                            Company until 1969, when under lease,
                                            the theatre re-emerged as the
                                            alternative/cult/rock film venue “The
                                            Mandala Cinema”.
                                               The somewhat run-down Mandala
                                            closed in 1972 and the huge auditorium
                                            was gutted and a modern twin cinema
                                            built into the space.

          8   2010 CINEMARECORD
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