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ABOVE: The magnificent “Sunburst Proscenium” at the Astor. BELOW: Hoyts luxurious Ozone Theatre.

            The Astor opened on the 20th of    The Capitol provided fierce        Over the following years various
          April 1937 with Girls Dormitory (Fox).  competition with the screening of Fox  proposals were put forward to improve
          The opening publicity advertised  and Warner Bros. products - sometimes  the amenities at the Astor. In 1939 a
          screenings six days per week with  on current release with Melbourne's  heating and improved ventilation
          matinees on Wednesdays, Thursdays  prestigious Regent and Capitol theatres.  system was proposed and installed.
          and Saturdays. Programs were to be  But more competition was to come.   Cowper, Murphy and Associates
          changed twice per week on Tuesdays   The large, magnificent, air-    submitted plans to the HD, on August
          and Saturdays.                    conditioned Ozone Theatre was      18th 1949 to construct a new foyer that
            Three price ranges of seats were  opened by the Waterman Bros in   was to include a candy bar and new
          listed: Lounge Chairs 2/6, Stalls 2/- and  December 1938, at 58-60 Langtree  toilets. The improvements would also
          Front Stalls 1/6; all were plus the  Avenue. This theatre replaced the  include a modernising of the
          entertainment tax that existed at the  Capitol which, by this time, had also  auditorium with a reduced seating
          time. Children were admitted for 1/6,  come under the control of the  capacity of 801. This plan relied on
          1/- and 7d (all plus tax).        Waterman Bros. and was closed.     removing the tenants from the shop on
            The opening programme said that                                    the right-hand side of the entrance and
          further improvements to the theatre                                  converting this space into foyer areas.
          would take place over the winter                                     However, the tenants refused to vacate
          months namely the completion of the                                  and the project stalled.
          Dress Circle and Lounge and the                                         The HD was advised on 22
          installation of a complete cooling and                               September 1950 that the Astor had
          heating system.                                                      come under the control of the
            The Astor was to mainly screen                                     Waterman Bros. This company from
          MGM, Fox, RKO and Universal films.                                   South Australia controlled dozens of
          The programme also noted that (at that                               theatres in that state as well as all
          time) the population of Mildura City                                 remaining theatres in the Sunraysia
          was c7000.                                                           district.

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