Theatres/Venues 2b: New South Wales

Moss Vale - NSW

Moss Vale mapSituated in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, the town of Moss Vale  is approximately 122 kms from Sydney. The area, once occupied by the Gundangara people, was explored between 1898 and 1818 and eventually given the name Sutton Forest. A significant parcel of land (8,000 acres) was granted to Charles Throsby, one of the explorers, and part of this was later subdivided into allotments that became Moss Vale. The town is named after Jemmy Moss, a herdsman at Throsby Park. Settlement began in the lead-up to the railway opening in 1867.

Moss Vale - Argyle StL: Argyle Street (1885) Looking north from near Waite Street (Berrima District Historical Society). R: Argyle Street ca. 1928 (Annette Young. http://www.adistantprospect.com.)

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CENTENNIAL HALL

aka Cullen’s Hall / King’s Pictures

King's Pictures [SBDP 20 Jan 1917, 3](1921- ca. 1967) 348-354 Argyle Street.

First used on 13 April 1881 for the Burrawong Farmers’ Show, John Cullen’s hall measured 30ft by 75ft (9×22 meters) and included a stage and two small rooms at the rear. Its name appears to have been changed to Centennial Hall during the mid to late-1880s. As with most venues of this type it was utilised by the local community for various types of social/civic activities as well as for touring entertainments. Films were first exhibited in the hall in 1907 and from 1915 it was home to King’s Pictures. After being acquired by Tom Mack in 1920 the building was demolished to make way for his Theatre Royal (1921-).

King’s Pictures, which often engaged live variety acts  to entertain patrons during film screenings, moved its operations to Moss Vale’s Showground Pavilion in early September 1920.
Image source: Scrutineer and Berrima District Press 20 Jan. (1917), 3.

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MACK’S THEATRE ROYAL

aka Theatre Royal

Mack's Th Royal - Moss Vale [SBDP 24 Feb 1923, 2]

(1921- ca. 1967) 348-354 Argyle Street.

Built on the site of Centennial Hall by American-born businessman and hotelier Tom Mack (Royal Hotel) Mack’s Theatre Royal was described in the lead-up to its opening on 18 May 1921 as one of the most up-to-date and best built theatres outside Sydney. The multi-purpose auditorium, which included a stage, measured 65 ft by 50 ft (20×15 m) and could seat up to 900 people. The building also contained a refreshment room, shops, offices, a cloakroom, dressing rooms and a large supper-room with kitchen. Over the next five decades it served as a picture theatre, play and vaudeville house, concert hall, action room and even as a ballroom.

Eventually known simply as the Theatre Royal, the venue operated largely as a cinema from the 1940s onwards. It was closed down in the mid-1960s and converted into a shopping arcade.
Image source: Scrutineer and Berrima District Press 24 Feb. (1923), 2.

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Published on March 2, 2017 at 11:29 pm  Comments Off on Theatres/Venues 2b: New South Wales