Monthly Archives: March, 2013

Past/Lives Flashback #9: Hire One – Hurstville, NSW

Original article: Homestead Golden Fried Chicken/Kentucky Fried Chicken/Hire One – Hurstville, NSW

IMG_9373

One of the most interesting aspects of revisiting these places one year on is discovering whether history has repeated itself. As you’ll no doubt recall, this location was formerly the fondly-remembered Homestead Golden Fried Chicken and later KFC, until an outbreak of stupidity and negligence caused its closure. Oh, you need a refresher? Hope you haven’t just eaten:

The Leader, August 6 2009.

The Leader, August 6 2009.

Hire One was quick to jump in and seize the reins of that deep fried legacy…

Alas, one won’t be hiring anything anymore at this husk. Hire One was apparently absorbed into the Kennards empire, the coffers of which were deep enough to break the lease and free up the site for a potential Homestead comeback. Or perhaps given the sordid history of the site, a Hartee’s comeback is more likely.

IMG_9375

Allied with the powerful Captain Hindsight, Cerno agent Donovan Moodie wisely buried ‘restaurant’ deep within the list of potential usages. Note that first part: “Previously successful Hire One plant hire business”. No mention of the hapless KFC, which is probably the building’s longest tenant (and certainly the least hygienic).

IMG_9374

But there’s no need to mention it; the eerie visage of the Colonel hangs over the place like a bespectacled ghost. Look closely and you can still see him smiling, just as he did after each Hire One customer walked out with their temporary cement mixers. I hope you washed your hands…

Advertisements

Past/Lives Flashback #10: Butchery No. 1 – Hurstville, NSW

As promised, here’s the first in a series of articles taking a look back at the top ten most popular Past/Lives posts of the last year. If I was smart, I would have picked the ten least popular posts so as to boost their views, but there’s a good reason the Belfield denture clinic never found its audience.

With that in mind, it’s to my complete amazement that I present the tenth most popular entry, Hurstville’s No. 1 Butchery.

Original article: Food Fair/ANZ Bank/The Base Store/No1 Butchery – Hurstville, NSW

IMG_9378

First things first: there are no obvious changes. Given the building’s colourful history, it’s almost a surprise there’s been no activity over the last 12 months, but there you have it…NO changes whatsoever (perhaps with the exception of the chemist next door having become “Australia’s cheapest chemist”. Yeah, right). It’s as ugly a shopfront as ever, and that demonic pig in the logo is just as disturbing. I’d be willing to bet those people walking past are the same as last year, too.

What’s really interesting to me about this place is that just over the last few weeks, it’s exploded in terms of page views. Why? The whole point of this series was to show you how things have changed over a year, and to find something new to add, so this is a great start. What’s so special about this place? Then again, that’s probably what you were saying when I published the original article a year ago. Wait! Do you feel that? It’s moments like these that bring us closer, dear reader.

Don’t worry, they won’t all be like this.

One Year Anniversary

sydney cove

It was a year ago today that I started Past/Lives, and I’d like to thank all of you who’ve contributed to or supported this venture in any way. I’ve learned so much writing this blog, and most of that knowledge has come from you. Please, keep the comments, suggestions and corrections coming!

When I started I had no idea there would be anyone as interested in old corner shops as I was, but nearly 50,000 views have since proven me very wrong. After over 200 posts, I hope that’s all I’ve been wrong about.

There’s plenty of good stuff on the way, too; over the next few weeks I’ll be going back and revisiting the ten most popular posts of the last year. You’ll get to see how they looked then, and how much things have changed. My money’s on ‘not much’.

In addition there are hundreds more sites around Sydney (and beyond) that are waiting for their moment in the sun, and they can rest assured that it’s coming.

Again, to everyone who has followed this blog, and shares whatever crazy syndrome we must all have to be fascinated by any skerrick of a former fast food outlet, I say thank you!

It’s my sincere hope that you – whether you stumbled upon this blog while searching for that Joyce Mayne ad where she’s in the bath, or you’re an enthusiast looking up the history of their building only to discover it was a Pizza Hut – have gotten as much out of this blog from reading it as I have from writing it.

If you have (and even if you haven’t), join me for another year in the past.

Rozelle Theatre/Arch Stone & Residential – Rozelle, NSW

IMG_9127

Whoa, deja vu! This incarnation of the Rozelle Theatre, constructed in 1927, was actually the second theatre to be built at this location. You can take one look at it and know it was a job by architect Charles Bohringer, who also brought us the Homebush Theatre. That Bohringer…it’s like he was tortured by this single vision in his head and could never quite exorcise it, no matter how many theatres he designed.

 

While we’re on the topic of torture, Zero Dark Thirty’s got nothing on Miss Louise Mack, who sadistically inflicted a series of lectures on children at the theatre during the late 1920s:

 

SMH, 26 November 1929

SMH, 26 November 1929

 

You won’t be surprised to learn that it was Hoyts who played the part of the executioner in the tragic tale of this theatre, which ceased projection in 1960 – and speaking of executions:

 

Adelaide Advertiser, 12 June 1950

Wouldn’t have wanted to be that last fellow…   Adelaide Advertiser, 12 June 1950

 

After an embarrassing stint as a function centre, the cinema today stands as an Arch Stone tile outlet topped with an apartment block. It’d be a damn spooky place to live, too…it’s said that on a dark and stormy night, you can still hear the yawns of Miss Mack’s students…