Page 14 - CR
P. 14

In 1951 the Waterman’s Company
          controlling its Sunraysia interests                                                        Then...
          became known as Pioneer Theatres Ltd.
          This was a subsidiary company of
          Hoyts Theatres. The Hoyts Theatres
          interests in the Sunraysia area were
          aligned to their South Australian rather
          than its Victorian operations.
            Again in 1952 alterations were
          made to reduce the size of the left hand
          shop and improve toilet facilities.
            The Waterman’s submitted new
          plans to the HD, through the
          architectural firm of J W Roberts &
          Assoc. (of Sydney), on 23 September
          1952. This time the shop was not
          included. These plans were approved
          March 27th 1953 and the renovations
          were completed.
                                               In December 2004 the entire building
            Prior to the conversion to
                                            was converted into a boutique brewery
          CinemaScope the assessment at the
                                            and restaurant known as the Mildura
          time noted that 68 seats would be lost.
                                            Brewery Pub. All that is to be seen of the
          The projection equipment was noted as
                                            old theatre is the 1920s auditorium walls,
          Simplex with arc lamps and
                                            roof and the 1937 frontage.
          Raycophone sound.
            Further, in 1957 plans were
                                            Public Records Office: File PB127 Unit 26
          approved to incorporate the right-hand
                                            Additional material:
          shop into the theatre foyer to expand
                                            Colin Flint – Adelaide;
          the sweets counter.
                                            Sunraysia Daily - Advertising feature pp7-9,
            Two drive-in theatres were also  20 April, 1937;
          added to the competitive mix in 1958  Glen Miller – Mildura Historical Society.
          and 1963 with Hoyts 16th Street, and  Photos:
          the newer Crossroads.             Paramount / Wonderland
            In November 1965 television     Frontage; Mildura Historical Society.
          arrived in the Sunraysia area and there  Interior; (stage to projection) Mildura
          was an immediate decline in patronage  Historical Society.
          at the hard-top theatres. Pioneer  Astor Exterior – Courtesy Chis Mitchell.
                                            Interior – “Sunburst Proscenium” – CATHS
          Theatres advised the HD of the closure
          of the Astor Theatre effective from
                                            Other Photos from the Kevin Adams
          Saturday 24th of June 1967. The final
          day program was A Day of Fury and
          For Love of Money at a 1.30pm
          matinee.                                                                                   Now...
            At the final evening session Alvarez
          Kelly and Accused of Murder were
          screened. In Mildura, Hoyts indoor
          theatre interests were centred on the
          Ozone Theatre.
            The Astor was quickly sold to the
          neighboring Grand Hotel. The
          auditorium was soon converted into a
          garage and the foyer became retail
          premises. The unused first-floor “foyer
          space” areas were proposed to be
          converted into apartments, although it
          is not known if this occurred.

          14  2011 CINEMARECORD
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