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New picture theatre was social centre

Posted by on 20/11/2018

Theatre, knitwear, antiques: The picture theatre as it is today. Picture: Google MapsElectricity was connected to Kurrajong Village by the Hawkesbury Development Company, just in time for the opening of the new picture theatreowned by Harry Pross.
Nanjing Night Net

Since the coming of the railway to Kurrajong in 1926, the population had been slowly increasing and Pross considered that the time was right to open a theatre in the village.

Hart’s Hall, built in 1919, had been the centre of community life in the Kurrajong district until then.But a rival was created on Thursday, July 19, 1934 when the theatre opened, with a grand ball.

The Windsor and Richmond Gazette reported: “The theatre is built of brick, concrete and plaster, and cost a little over £2,100…Mr. Pross has explicit faith in the future of Kurrajong…and it is now up to the people of the district to prove to him that his confidence has not been misplaced.

“The theatre is a spacious building…and is brilliantly illuminated…an R.C.A. talkie plant has been installed for the entertainment of the people on Saturday nights. There are cloak rooms for both ladies and gents.”

Strangely, it also hadthree “up-to-date” tennis courts built out the back to increase leisure options.

Cleared of the moveable folding seats, the theatre hosted events previously held in Hart’s Hallm from balls and dances, fetes, and amateur boxing events, to euchre parties and birthday celebrations.

The latest films were shown regularly every Saturday evening. In the 1940s and 50s the films were often the same as Richmond Regent.

In order to accomplish this, a member of staff set off on a hurried drive down the hill to Richmond during the interval with the re-wound reels of film from Kurrajong and swap them with the film which had finished at Richmond.

By 1952 it was looking dated, and the new owner, George Davidson of Comleroy Road did a full renovation.

With the coming of television the popularity of local theatres waned and soon became unviable. In the 1970s the theatre closed and a knitting factory was set up in the auditorium. By the early 80s it was again vacant and advertised for auction in December, 1982 and has been an antique shop since.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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