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Orpheum Picture Palace

Photo from the Orpheum Picture Palace collection.
Hayden Theatres
380 Military Rd
Cremorne NSW
(02) 9908 4395

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Record #188  
 Opened: 1935
Capacity: 1694 seats
Architect(s): George N Kenworthy
Architectural Style(s): Art Deco
National Register:
Current Organ: Wurlitzer
 Also Known As:

Information for this tour was contributed by Ken Roe.

This magnificent Art Deco styled cinema complex has been created within the former Orpheum Theatre of 1935 vintage which seated 1,735 when a single screen. It closed in June 1977 and was listed by the National Trust in September 1977 as an historic building. The empty building was sold in 1979 and re-opened as a cinema in 1980. In 1984 the stalls area downstairs was converted into a shopping arcade and the circle area was extended over to the proscenium arch with the stage area and fly tower being converted into office space. The cinema remained closed due to a rent increase and it became shuttered and derelict.

In 1986, Mike Walsh purchased the building and set about restoring it and it re-opened in December 1987 in the former circle area. In 1988 a second screen was opened in the former Ballroom space. This screen is known as the Lounge and seats 167. Over the years additional screens have been added in spaces originally where the stalls (later market area) once were. These are known as the Rex (127 seats) the Arcade (200 seats) the Walsh (307 seats and the Hayden (149 seats). All are decorated in a lavish Art Deco treatment to complement the original 744 seat Orpheum screen located in the former circle area. This screen now has installed a Wurlitzer organ which was originally installed in 1925 at the Wilson Theatre, Fresno, California, and it is played regularly at weekend performances prior to the commencement of the feature film.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

March 2004 photos from the Ken Roe collection.

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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 9/30/2004.

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