327 Bong Bong Street,
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Empire Cinemas (Official)
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Greek Revival
Previous Names: Empire Picture Theatre, New Empire Theatre
Bowral is 73 miles south of Sydney and is the largest city in the Southern Tablelands.
In 2015 the Empire Theatre will celebrate its centenary, making it the oldest continuously operated movie theatre in Australia. Bowral was proud of the Empire Picture Theatre. In 1915 many movie theatres were shopfronts but the Empire Picture Theatre was a good sized cinema, seating 946 in stalls and dress circle. It opened on 15th September 1915 with 946-seats in orchestra & balcony levels.
In 1938 under owner J.Stokes, the Empire Theatre front was raised and given a classy Greek temple look. Later owners included Blackheath and Leura Theatres and C and C Contos and in 1995, Empire Cinema PL.
Although very successful over the years the Empire Theatre faced changes and reconfigured the building. Shops and offices replaced the stalls and the dress circle was twinned.
In 2004 the Empire Cinemas became a fourplex. Losing the stalls meant the theatre entrance was moved to the right hand side of the building, in what’s known today as Empire Walk, a covered lane.
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