Wintergarden Theatre

622 New South Head Road,
Sydney, NSW 2029

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Additional Info

Architects: Henry Eli White

Styles: Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

 Wintergarden Auditorium. A second view.

The Wintergarden Theatre, in the Sydney up-market suburb of Rose Bay (next to Double Bay), opened on 24th February 1928.

The theatre was built in true picture palace style, although its entrance vestibule and exterior were quite austere. The auditorium was decorated in the usual Neo-Classical style of architect Henry Eli White (who worked with American John Eberson on the Sydney Capitol Theatre).

In June 1929, the Wintergarden Theatre became the first Sydney suburban theatre to install sound equipment for the ‘talkies’. The projection equipment chosen was ‘Raycophone’ - the Australian invention of Ray Allsop, chief engineer at a Sydney radio station, 2BL.

The Wintergarden Theatre continued to delight local audiences for the next six decades, including famous Australian director Peter Weir, who is said to have attended the theatre as a young boy. It was closed on 17th April 1985 and in 1987, however, after exhaustive protests to save the theatre, it was finally demolished.

An apartment building now stands on the Wintergarden Theatre’s site overlooking Sydney Harbour.

Contributed by John Adey

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

JoCatherine on May 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Hi Paul
I would love to see some of the pics you took as well. I would like to add Sydney’s Regent Theatre to your list as well. Jo

Eric GLASBY on September 30, 2011 at 2:16 am

Good on you (PAUL BRENNAN) a dear friend and a devoted Cinema and theatre buildings officiado.

I attened the WINTERGARDEN regularly in the latter Fifties/early Sixties and helped to clean after the Saturday Matinees from 1957 thru 1959.

A beautiful site which always presented Double Bill programs which ran from Saturday to Friday which apart from consisting of First Class films, also gave great value.

Truly, one of the most tragic losses the responsible Sydney business and other reps. should forever be ashamed of.

Eric Glasby New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

brucek on January 13, 2014 at 12:23 pm

I attended boarding school at Bellevue Hill between 1956 and 1963 and, as a “senior” in my latter years, and therefore eligible for day passes, I visited the Wintergarden quite often. Such a shame to see it demolished.

Evancguest on November 22, 2015 at 7:53 pm

Im really hoping someone can help me answer a burning question that a family close to me has. They urgently require the answer to the below…

What was the name of the Chinese Restaurant located right next to the Wintergarden Theatre in Rose Bay? It was in operation during the 70/80’s.

Please please someone help me.

Thanking you in advance.


impalax327 on April 17, 2016 at 12:35 am

Evan, not sure if you mean the “floating restaurant” that was moored in Rose Bay? Can’t remember the name when it was Chinese (if that’s the one) even though I went there but I’m sure it started out life as “Flannigan’s Afloat” and might’ve been a theatre restaurant in it’s early days?

LooobyLou on June 20, 2016 at 5:50 pm

@Evancguest The name of the Chinese restaurant next door to the Wintergarden was The Golden Fish. I spent a great deal of my childhood there as my parents were good friends of the owners, Alan and Lorretta To. Best Chinese food in the eastern suburbs 😀 They had huge fish tanks dividing the bar and eating area, and I remember Mrs To trying to teach a 7yr old me Marjong in the bar area between lunch and dinner lol. Loved that place.

paulsp2 on August 8, 2016 at 12:57 am

If anyone wants good photos of the interior of the Winter Garden Theatre try to get hold of Ross Thorne’s book – “Cinemas of Australia via U.S.A.” Great photos of Australia’s lost and in some cases still standing Movie Theatres. Glad to see the Sydney “State” still remains but the loss of the “Regent” and “Prince Edward” will be forever a tragedy. Cities are much the poorer without these magic places of entertainment.

georgeamland on May 2, 2017 at 5:24 am

I lived up on Vaulcuse Road and was a patron of the Wintergarden during the 60’s and 70’s. Cranbrook held school functions in the theater and so did some of the local clubs. I served cocktails there as a a waiter a few times. What a wonderful collection of photos. It brings back fond memories. I also remember the Regent and the other theaters downtown around George St. Sadly gone.

davidcoppock on July 4, 2017 at 3:04 am

This building should not have been demolished! Whats the use of hertiage listings!

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