FLASHBACK: The Last Picture Show - Cinema in Randwick

RANDWICK CITY: As we cherish the splendour of the Randwick Ritz, we are reminded that it is “last man standing” of the many picture shows which once enriched our lives. Too numerous to reference all here, a random recall might still evoke sufficiently a time and places when going to the “flicks” was as much a community activity as it was cultural.

Frequency of programs varied from one venue to another and often alternated with other forms of entertainment. Some such as Randwick’s Orient and (initially) the Kensington Picture Theatre were open-air whilst other locations not normally associated with movies were the Coogee Aquarium, Coogee Pier and Dudley’s Emporium at Maroubra Junction.

The earliest regular venue is thought to have been Kensington School of Arts dating from 1910.

Randwick also provided the Kismet/Odeon and Elite whilst Coogee also boasted the Boomerang. Clovelly’s contribution included Best’s Cinema/Hoyts and the Kings. The Dacee flourished as did O’Dea’s Democratic Theatre at South Kensington. Maroubra’s Amusu and Vocalist endowed us further.

Such then were some of the “bright city lights” that would be forever dimmed by the coming of television.

Robert Booth

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