600 George Street,
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Previously operated by: Hoyts Cinemas
Architects: Eric Heath
Styles: Spanish Baroque
Built on the site of the DeLuxe Theatre. Hoyts Plaza Theatre in Sydney was the original quintessential “Spanish” styled theatre. It was famous in the old days as a picture palace complete with an English built Christie theatre organ and a full orchestra on an elevated platform. The Plaza Theatre was opened on 9th May 1930 with Cecil B. DeMille’s production of “Dynamite” which starred Conrad Nagel. The supporting programme was Laurel & Hardy in “Night Owls” and American organist Eddie Fitch opened the Christie organ. The original plan was for a 4,000 seater, but the stock market crash of 1929 was to see those plans go out the window.
In September 1958, the Plaza Theatre was refurbished for 3-strip Cinerama and the screen at that time was the largest in Australia for an indoor cinema.
All big 70mm blockbusters from Fox, MGM, United Artists, etc., were shown here from March 1965 onwards. The screen dimensions were 75ft x 35ft. The Plaza Theatre was closed in June 1977 with Terence Hill in “Mr Billion”.
It was used for a time as both skating rink Maxie’s Manhattan Disco and a restaurant. A Heritage order prevented its demolition until 1995, when Planet Hollywood removed the remainder of the auditorium’s decoration. The foyer is intact and is used as a McDonalds restaurant. Planet Hollywood only lasted a short while, and today the auditorium has been ‘twinned’ with the Plaza Restauraunt operating in the upper half.
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