Theatres/Venues 2a: Sydney




aka Clay’s Coliseum / Independent Theatre

(1911-present) 269 Miller Street.

Situated on the site of the North Shore’s first cable tram depot, the Coliseum Theatre opened in 1911. Although initially leased by J.C. Bain, the theatre was mostly associated with Harry Clay during the 1910s and 1920s. Problems with licensing provisions saw it closed for various periods during the 1930s before Doris Fitton and Theatre Freeholds Ltd converted it into the Independent Theatre in 1939. The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust purchased the building in 1989.

Coliseum-Union Th - Nth Syd []

Image: Coliseum Theatre (left); Coliseum Picture Hall (right). Source.



aka Paris Gardens/The Palais/The Follies/The Palais de Danse

(1911-1926) South Steyne.

Built as an open-air beach-side venue, Eden Gardens was initially used by local dramatic and musical societies. Edward Branscombe later leased it for his Dandies troupes (1912-16), and in 1917 Harry Clay added it to his Sydney circuit, maintaining an almost continuous (one night a week) presence there until 1921. Renamed the Paris Gardens in 1919, the venue later became the Palais de Danse (1922), the Follies (1923-1925); and the Palais (1926). It is believed to have been pulled down in late 1926 in preparation for the Big Wheel attraction.

For further details see: Terry Metherell’s Faster: Manly in the 1920s (2006), Chapter 5.


INDEPENDENT THEATRE (North Sydney): See Coliseum

MANLY CHUTE: See Industry: Misc 1 (Amusements section)


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Published on April 9, 2011 at 12:33 am  Comments Off on Theatres/Venues 2a: Sydney