In preparation for a pretty major article on the Kogarah Mecca cinema, much of the research conjured up stories of Hurstville’s own Mecca. In their later years, both theatres shared an owner who named them both Mecca for the sake of uniformity, and that’s all I’d care to say about that particular topic. For decades, the Savoy was the jewel of Ormonde Parade, even after they built the Supa Centre in front of it. Nice going, fellas.
In the beginning, however, the Hurstville Savoy was a triumph of Art Deco design, a massive artistic improvement over the rather pedestrian theatres that had entertained the suburb in years prior. The more I learned, the more shocked I was that such a structure ever existed in Hurstville as I know it today. Everything about the place seemed to radiate a sense of silver-screen Hollywood elegance, and nowhere was this more evident than the evening’s handsomely designed souvenir booklet.
Demolished in 1994, nothing remains of the theatre today, so this brochure is as close as we can get to the Savoy experience short of generating 1.21 gigawatts. Be amazed, and just keep telling yourself: it came from that Hurstville.
I’m proud to announce that Past Lives of the Near Future has been selected by the National Library of Australia for inclusion in their Pandora internet archive!
Since 1996, the NLA has selected sites deemed culturally or historically significant to the Australian community and archived them for posterity, and it’s rewarding to learn that Past Lives fits that criteria!
The NLA plans to archive the site annually, which at the current rate is more often than I update.
I’ve added a link to the archived Past Lives on the sidebar. A big thank you to the NLA for their hard work archiving the many images on the site (not an easy feat), and for you, the readers, for making this site what it’s become after two (!) years. I appreciate it immensely.
If you read my entry on Shea’s Creek/Alexandra Canal and found your thirst for knowledge on the subject far from quenched (yeah, right), then I recommend you head over to the Dictionary of Sydney, which has just launched its Cooks River project. From the Dictionary:
It is with great pleasure that we launch our ‘Fine stream, fine meadow’ Cooks River project. Made possible through a Federal Government Your Community Heritage grant, today marks the culmination of a 12 month partnership between the Dictionary of Sydney and Botany Bay City, Marrickville and Canterbury City councils, the Cooks River Alliance, and nine fine writer-historians whose collective works form the heart of this project.
Through 14 essays, our authors trace the history of the Cooks River valley from its days as a pristine natural watercourse and lush hunting ground for the Eora people to the high density inner city suburbs and polluted river we know today.
It’s an impressive, exhaustive undertaking, and one I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to. Plus, if you look hard enough, you might find one of the photographers to be very familiar. What are you still reading this for? Get over there, ya mugs!
Since it took just a little bit longer to get through a seemingly simple top ten than I thought it would, I’ve gathered them all here for the sake of convenience. It was a good chance to go back and flesh out some of the history of these places, and in some cases a great opportunity to continue their stories. Enjoy:
In site news, there’s finally a Facebook page for Past/Lives. ‘Like’ it to your right. With it, I’ll be able to update older entries with new photos or newspaper articles or whatever and let you know about it toot sweet, plus there’ll be plenty of other good stuff I’m not able to fit into the main articles, so head on over.
Now that the countdown’s over, there’s plenty of fun NEW material on the way, and I’ll be catching up on some reader suggestions. Stay tuned…