James Castle & Sons Art Metal Workers/Gould’s Book Arcade – Newtown, NSW

Gould's Book Arcade, 2012

There’s not much that can be said about Gould’s Book Arcade that isn’t already well known. The labyrinth of old, dusty books has become a Sydney institution, and a perfect fit for the suburb of Newtown. In the building’s first life, however, it was James Castle & Sons Art Metal Workers, who apparently specialised in creating furniture and pulpits for churches and synagogues at the turn of the 20th century.

32 King Street, 1988. Image by Robert Parkinson.

Looking back nearly 25 years, the building seems to have hardly changed at all. Gould’s appears to have moved to its current location from Leichhardt in either 1988 or 1989, but prior to that it was located on the corner of George and Bathurst Streets in Sydney.

Gould's Book Arcade, George Street, circa 1983.

3 responses

  1. Goulds at Leichardt closed in 1994,I remember it well because I had arranged to buy all their 8-Track cartridges (100’s of them ) and buy the time I got there to get them someone had snaked the deal from me 😡

  2. Love that photo of George St 1983. I don’t remember Goulds being there, but I’ve enjoyed occasional visits to the Newtown store for many years. What were the old cinemas next to the George St Goulds? I vaguely remember the Century theatre in that location, maybe being demolished in that shot, but what was ‘Family Amusement Centre’? The vertical sign ends in ‘TY’. I know there was once a Liberty theatre in the city, but it was in Pitt St (demolished for the Pitt Centre). Anyone remember?

  3. That was Dodgem City, it had a roller skating rink, an indoor BMX track, lots of pinball machines and video arcade games, and other amusements. I recall it also being called Macy’s at one stage.

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