Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Art Deco Hoyts: Deceased

    I love history.

    I sat up the other night until 1am fascinated by Mawson eating his sled dogs - although, I suppose some might say that might be more an interest in the macarbe than history?

    We are also members of the Victorian Heritage Society, which means I can tour all the old buildings I love for free.

    I don't join local historical societies though, for the same reason I don't join local camera clubs.

    Old people. Or middle-aged men thrusting their Nikons about like phallic symbols. Ugh.

    Although I appreciate old people and find their stories interesting and stuff, I don't want to hang with them and be buddies.

    And yes, i'm aware how that makes me sound, and I suppose karma will get me when i'm old(er!) and want to talk about my ulcerated boil and no-one will talk to me. Ok.

    Back on track:

    So every now and then I google my house, my area, stuff. Local history is always fun as you can find things on daily walks and visualise what was and see what now is.

    But recently, I was surprised to learn we had a Hoyts cinema in town! It had never come up in any other history searches before and information was hard to find.

    It was beautiful:


    Bentleigh Hoyts 4

    Bentleigh Hoyts 7

    Bentleigh Hoyts 8

    Bentleigh Hoyts 6

    Bentleigh Hoyts 1

    So the cinema opened in 1928 and closed on New Year's Day 1984.

    I can't help but wonder what film they ended with?
    And if someone could make out that movie poster in the foyer, i'd be ever so grateful. These pics were taken in August 1948 ( if that helps for movie identification ) by a photographer named Lyle Fowler and I sourced them from the National Library of Victoria.

    And I wonder why the building had to be completely demolished?
    I didn't arrive in Melbourne until 1991, but i'm assuming if you close on New Year's Day, it was with a fair bit of fanfare ( and perhaps some protest ? )

    But gee, now we've got a brand new real estate office, and by golly it's sure to become a future architectural landmark for sure! Just look at it!:

    'Bentleigh Hoyts' today :(

    Oh yeah.


    Ms Brown Mouse said...

    This sort of short-sighted smash and build drives me stark raving bonkers. I hate ugly but it seems to be all anyone builds anymore :( double :(

    Julie-Ann said...

    How sad that they tore down such a beautiful building. And it is even sadder that they built that load of rubbish in it's place. The ceiling and stairs are incredible. Such a gorgeous building.

    Fairlie - said...

    Such a shame all those lovely suburban movie theatres disappeared. Those were the days...when a night out at the pictures was truly a night out!

    Uli said...

    That really is such a shame. Such a lovely building. Such an ugly unnecessary replacement.

    Fe said...

    Are you calling my Nikon a phallic symbol?!?!

    What a gorgeous cinema!

    Typical of th 1980's.. out with the old, in with the new, without a thought to presentation.... just the $ signs.


    Melody said...

    Revolting. I can now see what you mean with your twittering about the old Hoyts.

    I hope the Astor is still about in St.Kilda.

    I'm glad that the Forum has been put to good use in the city. Such a stunning old theatre, now a great music theatre. Last time I went there I saw Midnight Oil. The first time I went there I saw 'The Dark Crystal'.

    Frogdancer said...

    I went to that cinema in the summer holidays by myself to watch a double feature: The Muppet Movie and Aliens.

    LBA said...

    hee hee Fe - only when accompanied by the middle-aged man ;)

    Melody, the Astor is there, yes, and the Forum is SO COOL - I love that place. Last time I was there was to see Morrissey - such a beautiful combination ! x

    I just want to know *why* it was smashed down - maybe I will have to join the historical society after all *sigh* ( see, a MODERN historical society would share on the net - but everywhere i've ever lived, they're as historical as the society itself.. )

    Maybe I could shake them up?

    Stacey said...

    That really sucks. What a lovely building. I didn't know you were a history buff too. Next time we can talk about history and stuff, not just cougars, appendages and the like.
    Our local Hodges office is in a really lovely building, used to be a bank I think. You can see it here:
    You know that bowling place in Mentone? That used to be a cinema. My Mum used to ride her pony there to watch western films as a kid. Apparently she used to dress like Annie Oakley. Six shooter and all.
    Go Mum.

    Stacey said...

    Oh also, have you checked out your local government website? They probably have a really good local history bit on it. Our council certainly does.

    Daniel said...

    Yes, a great shame it's gone.

    I don't think it necessarily actually closed on 1/1/1984 - the cinema database appears to show 1/1 if they don't know precisely which date it was in that year.

    Jo said...

    I knew as soon as I saw your first photo that it was Bentleigh! As a little girl, my grandma took me to the pictures there. They lived in Bentleigh. I remember seeing "The Muppet Movie" and possibly "Annie". I remember sitting in the cinema and staring up at that roof when I should have been watching the film.
    I also remember walking up that staircase too.
    I dont think the building was completely demolished though. And if you have a look at the photos, the back section still appears to be there.
    A very sad day when the cinema closed. Thank you so much for a little trip down memory lane.

    M said...

    What a shame. Our local cinema is an art deco GEM. It was due to be knocked down in the mid 80s but was saved and has been completely restored. One of the cinema has an organ that rises from the floor and an organist plays the movie theme song before the movie starts. Extra excitement.

    LBA said...

    Stacey - non. They're "working on it"

    V&R - you always catch me out on local stuff - remember when I blogged my friend's front garden ? ;) I'd love to know more about the colouring etc - had it changed much from these pics to when they were showing The Muppet Movie? What was the finish on the floors, the ceilings?

    M - the cinema in Brighton is like that - it is *awesome* to go - much better than any movie, I love it! I think Camberwell might have similar too.

    I mean, I know this building is not the *grandest* by any shot of the imagination, but if you lived here, you'd realise it's probably as Grand as it got, and now we've got the freakin' Hodges .. one of about 12 R/E agents on the strip..

    Anonymous said...

    A beauiful cinema and a shame it is gone. There are stil a few suburban Art Deco cinemas in Melbourne.

    The Astor (as mentioned previously), The Rivoli in Camberwell, The Westgarth in Northcote and my personal favourite, The Sun in Yarraville

    Anonymous said...

    really sad!, would love to go to the local ( and beautiful) Hoyts. I head the Astor was sold recently, i hope it heritage protected..

    Meggie said...

    What name for "Progress"??

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