Today I went to check out one of the wonderful old fashioned cinemas that still seem to be surviving here in Australia. The one I went to see is the Roseville Cinemas in the suburb of Roseville north of the city.
Historical Cinema Buildings
One thing I noticed very early on here is the relatively high number of old art deco style cinemas that still exist in Australia. I have photographed a few and put them in previous posts. There is something I really like about them. I suppose it’s because they take me back to when I was young and there were still plenty of old style cinema buildings in the UK. This basically includes anything that is not one of these new multiplex, multi-screen modern buildings. But most of all it’s those original Art Deco style cinemas…
Roseville Cinema, Roseville
I had seen this place on several occasions while driving north out of Sydney. It sits right on the (old) main road called the Pacific Highway (or the A1).
The building was originally constructed in the early 1900’s by Kuring-Gai council as a town Hall for the area. It was used for local dances and meetings. In 1919 after the First World War, it was renamed Traynor’s Picture Palace. The golden age of cinema was about to take off.
In 1936 the building was renovated into the beautiful Art Deco style with a seating capacity of over 500 people. In 1995 it was converted to a twin cinema. More recently in 2011 the ageing film projectors were replaced with state-of-the-art digital technology. Since the art deco renovation it has remained a family owned business. In the early 70’s it was owned by Hans van Pinxteren and his family have been running it for two generations.
Here you can see the classic interior. Anyone old enough to remember the independent cinemas before the age of the multi-screens will recognise this kind of cinema foyer.
Once inside one of the two screens I spotted a few things you don’t see any more in the modern cinemas.
Then I noticed something in the corner I had never seen before. Check this out…
An amazing little room eh? Can anybody tell me, were these a common feature in old cinemas? Because they weren’t in the ones I used to go to.
This place also has a bar area! Sadly not used much these days but I am sure it will be again soon.
What of the future?
All in all this is a real gem of a place and I hope it manages to stay open in these crazy times. I really can’t see how they can keep going as things are. There were only four other people watching the movie with me. I think a similar amount in the other screen.
How can they survive like that? Are the film distributors hardly charging them for the movies or what?
Hopefully they can all ride the current crisis out and survive. And I hope to visit as many as I can…