Page 12 - CR
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The  Auditorium was a mixture
                  of fancy plaster-work and ornate
                  grills, described as being of
                 Moorish style. There were two large
              columns on each side of the proscenium,
              separated by attractive plaster panels
              and a beautiful set of stage curtains with
              a hanging curtain pendant at the top.

              A small orchestra pit the width of the
              stage was provided and the back-stage
              area was constructed with dressing rooms
              and a high fly-tower so as to be capable
              of presenting live stage shows.

              Another feature of the auditorium was an
              ornate "Roman Temple" located on the
              right side of the dress-circle. In the circle
              foyer were huge columns (with cushioned
              seating around them) that supported the   In preparation for the opening,
              large balcony above.               extensive advertising was laid before
                                                 the surrounding district: 500 one-sheeter
              All of the seats in  Western Suburbs   poster boards, 24-sheet posters on the
              Cinemas were of a distinct design - I do   railway stations and other vantage
              not recall seeing them in other theatres.   points, as well as local newspaper
              The seats were manufactured by  W.   announcements.
              Simpson of Strathfield and were mounted
              on standards manufactured by the Milton   On opening night crowds began to   The first organist to play the Wurlitzer
              Foundry of Granville.              congregate at 5.30 pm.  The official   pipe-organ (located on the left side of
                                                 opening ceremony was performed by the   the auditorium) was Mr. Barrie Brettoner
              An application for a licence was   Mayor of Auburn.                   who had moved over from the Palatial
              submitted and approval duly granted, so                               Theatre at Burwood.  Then from June
              the opening date was set for the 13th of   Mr. A.J. Bezant was commended for his   23rd, Mr. Knight Barnett was organist
              February 1934.  A special programme   enterprise, and also circuit manager  Vic   (also from the Palatial).
              was arranged which consisted of RKO’s   Pearson for his supervision  of  the  entire
              Double Harness  starring  William   construction. The theatre would be managed   In later years it was Miss Ruby Coulson
              Powell and Ann Harding, supported by   by Mr. Reg Bisley and there would be a   who became very popular playing the
              The Song You Gave Me starring Bebe   twice-daily screening policy.  The seating   organ - a much respected lady who
              Daniels from British Empire Films.  capacity was registered as 2271.  worked for charities and the RSL.
                                                                                    Highly commended, she was awarded
                                                                                    the British Empire Medal. The Wurlitzer
                                                                                    instrument was supplied by W.A. Crowle
                                                                                    of Sydney.

                                                                                    Some features at the Civic included:
                                                                                    afternoon-tea served to the patrons of
                                                                                    the dress-circle at week day matinees.
                                                                                    At the evening sessions, patrons were
                                                                                    not only entertained by the Wurlitzer,
                                                                                    but also often by various live artists
                                                                                    on stage. Some of these came directly
                                                                                    from the stage interludes at Sydney’s
                                                                                    Prince Edward or other major
                                                                                    city theatres.

                                                                                    Some of the many acts who appeared on
                                                                                    the Civic stage included: The Dancing
                                                                                    Middies; The Sydney Caledonian Band;
                                                                                    Janetaki Trio; The Rolling Rollos; The
                                                                                    Orlandos; Uncle Herman and Billie and
                                                                                    The Flying Warrens etc..

                                                                                                  Photos this page - 1947

              12   2012  CINEMAREC ORD
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