Page 10 - CR
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No doubt this addition to the local
                                                                               scene provided intense competition.
                                                                               Also advertising at the time was the
                                                                               Plaza which may have been the re-
                                                                               badged Olympia; this theatre closed
                                                                               with the opening of the Capitol.
                                                                                  By 1935 T. Houghton had control of
                                                                               the Wonderland and most of the
                                                                               theatres in the Sunraysia district.
                                                                               With the increased competition to his
                                                                               circuit, in the form of a modern theatre,
                                                                               T Houghton set about to improve his
                                                                               Wonderland Theatre.

                                                                                   The Astor Picture-Theatre
                                                                                  The architectural firm of Cowper,
                                                                               Murphy and Appleford (of Melbourne)
                                                                               submitted plans to the HD on August
                                                                               26th 1936 to extensively alter the
                  ABOVE: The single-storey frontage of the original foyer and shops.
                                                                               Wonderland. The plans, signed by
                                                                               T. Houghton (as owner) included the
            In 1935 M.C. Symonds letterhead    In 1935 the Mildura retail firm of
                                                                               construction of a balcony, a new
          stated he controlled the following  Washingtons converted a large two-
                                                                               projection room at the back of the
          theatres in the Sunraysia district:  storey shop, at 39 Langtree Avenue,
                                                                               circle, an upstairs foyer, the installation
          MILDURA: Wonderland Indoor and    into a very attractive two-level theatre,
                                                                               of ladies toilets and extensive
          Open-air theatres; Star Theatre (Open-  called the Capitol. The architects were
                                                                               decorative splays at the side of the
          Air and closed in 1935).          the Melbourne-based theatre specialist
                                                                               proscenium opening. These plans were
          RED CLIFFS: Diggerland Theatre    firm of Cowper, Murphy and Appleford.
                                                                               not implemented.
          (Indoor) and Joyland (Open-Air).
                                                                                  On January 26th 1937 the HD
          MERBEIN: Royal (Semi-Tropical)
                                                                               approved another set of plans from
          RENMARK: Arcadia Theatre
                                                                               Cowper, Murphy and Appleford, for a
                                                                               single-level auditorium through
          OUYEN: Star Theatre (Town Hall).
                                                                               renovation and rebuilding. The
            In addition M.C. Symonds ran a
                                                                               Wonderland closed in February 1937
          Dance Palais at the Mildura Shire
                                                                               to enable the project to begin.
          Hall and the outdoor Arcadia Skating
                                                                               L. Manniche (of Mildura) was the
          Rink and Dance Palais.
                                                                               Master Builder responsible for the
              CENTRE: The Capitol Theatre.    BELOW: The Wonderland Open-Air Theatre was virtually opposite its new indoor namesake.

          10  2011 CINEMARECORD
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