Theatres/Venues 2b: New South Wales

Newcastle

Newcastle MapBest known as Australia’s coal capital, Newcastle is situated at the mouth of the Hunter River, 160 kilometres north of Sydney and in an area originally called Malubimba by the Awabakal and Worimi Aboriginal people. Coal was discovered in the region in 1797 during the first European exploration of the area and within two years convicts began mining it for both domestic and export purposes. An initial convict settlement was established in 1801 but this failed within a year. Another attempt was made in 1804 and after being known as Coal River, then King’s Town, the township was eventually called Newcastle (after the English coal port). The Newcastle penal colony closed down in 1822 and from then on a steady of settlers began arriving. A city centre was initially founded in the area known as Newcastle East. One of the country’s earliest theatre districts also was established here. During the 20th century, however, the CBD gradually moved west.

Newcastle is the major population centre of the Hunter Region (also known as the Hunter Valley). The region extends approximately 40 kms south and 150 kms north of Newcastle and also includes the Singleton and Musswellbrook shires to the North-west. Other  centres include Maitland, Cessnock, Wyong, Gloucster, Scone and Port Stephens.
Newcastle montageL: Newcastle Harbour from Fort Scratchley, 1890. Source: University of Newcastle R: Newcastle from the Obelisk, ca. 1906. Source: Russelr50, Flickr.

VICTORIA THEATRE

Victoria Th - Newc [Newtown Graffitti, Flickr](1876-1996) 8-10 Perkins Street.

Two Victoria theatres were located on the Perkins Street site. The first opened in 1876 and had major renovations carried out in 1885 before being demolished in 1890. The second, built by the Victoria Theatre Company opened in 1891 and soon became popular as a variety house. It operated as the base for the Dix-Baker circuit in the 1910s, with Fullers’ Theatres taking over the lease in the early 1920s. Hoyts took control of the theatre in 1942, after which it mostly operated as a cinema. The Victoria closed following the building’s sale to clothing manufacturer Eastham’s.

Image source: Photo by Newtown Graffiti. Published in Flickr.com

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