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George Poulos

Walgett. Luxury Theatre. Opening Programme, 1937. Conomos Bros. Commentary by Les Tod.

The Luxury Theatre was built by the Conomos Brothers to replace their operation in the School of Arts Hall. The Luxury opened in April 1937, with the film Born to Dance. It was licensed 30.4.37 to saet 500.

The theatre was quite large, being three storeys high, with a dress circle. It cost £8,000 to build, using 375,000 bricks. Architect was Bruce Dellit, of the Sydney Liberty and Minerva fame, as well as the Hyde Park Memorial.

Builder was Jack King, and the contractor Bill Mason. The theatre was in art deco style, with gold velour curtains supplied by Grace Bros, Broadway. On opening night they actually squeezed 1,100 into the theatre, despite its capacity of 500.

CinemaScope was installed around 1955, and Bausch and Lomb lenses used.

The theatre remained under their control until it was destroyed by fire in 1979, in a conflagration that took all that side of the main street with it, the fire getting completely out of control.

From notes made in 1985, by Mr Les Tod.

Copy of Programme also supplied by Les Tod.

Les Tod is a cinema historian. His contributed to the preservation of "Kytherian" and Hellenic Cinema's in NSW has been alluded to in other entries. Particularly influential was a report he co-authored with Ross Thorne and Kevin Cork, to the Australian Heritage Office (NSW), in 1996.

Thorne, Ross, Les Tod & Kevin Cork (1996) Movie Theatre Heritage Register for New South Wales 18,96-1996, Sydney: Department of Architecture, University of Sydney. A National Estate Project for the Heritage Office (NSW) and the Australian Heritage Commission.

For other entries, Search under Tod.

Search's under Cork, and Thorne, will lead to other entries by these two contributors.

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1 Comment

Coo-ee Calls
on 09.03.2006

There is a great photograph of the Luxury Theatre, taken at night, with all the lights on, which is included in the Stockmans Hall of Fame Paper, September 2002. The original photograph is owned by the Walgett District Historical Society. Underneath the photo is the following caption: "What is this funny looking picture doing in the HOF paper? It is NOT an art deco building in New York, but the Walgett theatre. Small wonder they called it the 'luxury' theatre. It was built in 1937, in the main street, Fox Street, and the Greek cafe was beside the theatre on the left. It was owned by the Conomos Bros, who also owned the picture theatre." - Robyn Walton, Gilgandra.