Rozelle Theatre/Arch Stone & Residential – Rozelle, NSW

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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…

 

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3 responses

  1. My Parents Lola and Alfred Scales were the Managers of the Rozelle Theatre in the 50’s ….I remember helping run the candy store at intermission with my older sisters. I had to wash the big milkshake glasses out the back because I was too young to serve at the counter…My Dad was a dead ringer for Randolph Scott and when they played an old western movie there with Randolph, Dad thought he’d dress for the theme with a western hat on. Everyone went wild and asked my Dad for his autograph because they thought he was the famous movie star come to visit Rozelle. When the theatre closed we as kids looking to explore, would get in a back door and play upstairs but it was so delapidated that only pigeons stayed in there and it was very dirty and smelly. Then it became a Greek Reception house for a few years and we were always angry because they would take up parking in all the streets surrounding when they had their dos leaving residents with no parking all night long. My Mum was also a long time barmaid at the Callan Park Hotel (now Darling St Hotel) on the opposite corner and the Scales family were very well known in the area. All the family of six children, including grandparents William and Violetta Clark, as well as auties and uncles all lived and worked in various locations around Rozelle/Balmain for many years. David & Denis Scales were very well known as the best dressed young men in Rozelle compliments of Clark & Clark Men’s wear on Darling Street Rozelle. Cheryl worked in the hamburger store opposite Callan Park Hotel and Julie was also a barmaid at the pub. Susann worked at SSE Rozelle as well as Batrix Patterns in Rozelle. Cheryl & David Scales also worked for Federal Broom Factory in Balmain and Unilever at Balmain. The family home was in Cambridge St oppoite the Theatre where I was born in 1955 and Mum was still in the home up to her death in 2003. Lots of fond memories of the old Rozelle and many stories to be told.

  2. Do you remember the Hallet family that ran the candy store, my grandmother Mary Eileen Hallet also worked in the candy store.

  3. We went every Friday and Saturday night sat in the back row with my parents right in front of the candy shop.That was in the forties and early fifties we were the Benjamin family.

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