Then & Now – Beverly Hills Hotel

Time to try something new: think of this as a game of spot-the-difference writ large across decades. I’ll occasionally throw a few of these up just to spice things up a bit. To kick things off, let’s take a look at the Beverly Hills Hotel as it was back in 1981…

Beverly Hills Hotel, 1981. Image courtesy Hurstville City Library

Beverly Hills Hotel, 1981. Image courtesy Hurstville City Library

This photo, taken from what is now a car park across the road, shows that the Beverly Hills Hotel was once called the Hotel Bennelong, that there was some kind of Coke-sponsored diner next door to it, and oh, what’s that tall sign on the far left? I can’t quite read it. And if you think the BHH is rough these days, imagine how it must have been back then. There’s a reason those guys are wearing hard hats.

Of greater interest is what’s happening in the foreground: the council is hard at work putting in the stormwater canal that now runs parallel to the East Hills train line all the way from here to Wolli Creek. On the far right, caught in the midst of all this progress is some dude’s house. As he makes his way to and from work, then to and from the pub each day, little does he know that in a matter of years his home will become the local baby health centre…but that’s a story for another day. To the future!

Beverly Hills Hotel, 2014.

Beverly Hills Hotel, 2014.

In this context, 2014 sounds much more futuristic than it does as say, the expiry date of your driver’s licence, doesn’t it? The most striking aspect of the futurescape is the abundance of palm trees, installed to help lend Beverly Hills a Californian vibe. Counteracting this vibe is everything else pictured, especially the intrusive presence of the cameras. I know they’re there for our safety, but still – very Orwellian. It’s interesting to note that the hotel and Hepburn Court beside it remain largely the same as they were 33 years ago, and at this point I’d like to repeat that for any readers born in 1981 – 33 years ago.

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7 responses

  1. Hi beside the hotel is the old drive through bottle shop . Apparently it was the first drive through in Sydney . The baby health care centre across the road has been one for a least 40 odd years !

    1. Of course, the drive-thru bottle-o! Pizza, booze, a movie, then more booze. It’s all coming back to me now, thanks Steve!

  2. Do you remember shades nite club out the back of the pub ? I remember walking in that pub at anytime of the day and it being full of cigarette smoke night time was worse .

    1. Shades would have to be the most appropriately named nightclub ever.

      1. Shades was still there in the early nineties . Spent many a long night there . Good memories !

  3. I still refer to it as the Benelong.

  4. Didn’t even notice the name had changed…… I remember putting a jumper on over the school uniform and drinking schooners in there for 40 cents. Sometimes we got lucky and there would be some Beverly Hills High girls in there (remember what they used to look like before they were clothed head to toe in track suit style outfits and wearing scarves on their heads?). There are still a few dine in Pizza Huts around in Australia but the one next to the Bennelong was my first and very handy after a few at the Bennelong. My first memory of pizza delivery in Australia was 1982/3 in a local shop in Cremorne or Mosman NSW, the first or amongst the first in Australia to deliver and they had their own cars. They had a catchy name that I don’t recall now.

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