Saturday, 20 June 2015

Old Plaza Theatre


Sketch club met on George st in Sydney this rainy Sunday.  I sat opposite this beautiful and intricate building, the Plaza Theatre, 600 George st.  This is one of the few original picture theatres left, built in the golden age of this type of entertainment, in 1930. It is Spanish Mission style and is now Heritage listed.
The company Hoyts had planned on building a 4000 seat cinema but the stock market crash in 1929 cause a change of plan and 2000 seats were built.  It was famous in it's day and had an English built theatre organ and a full orchestra on an elevated platform.  
Many big films opened here but by 1950 the cinema  audience was declining.  It became even less popular in 1956 when TV was introduced.
In 1977 the Plaza theatre closed and the foyer was converted to a MacDonalds restaurant and the auditorium converted to a skating rink, concert venue and restaurant.  There have been different businesses since then but the fanciest MacDonalds remains.

 Foyer now a MacDonalds

I sat not far from a young man who is homeless.  He has been  sleeping outside and the weather has been very cold and wet here.  He said the cheapest cost for a night's accomodation is $32. a night.  I attended an education afternoon about homelessness recently and only twenty percent of the homeless have support from services. Poor fellow.
He was very sweet commenting favourably on my sketch.

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