Today’s post focusses on what claims to be “Sydney’s oldest and longest running live theatre”. This is the Enmore Theatre located in the inner west suburb of Enmore.
It was originally built in 1908 and opened to the public as a photo-play theatre. From what I’ve read it was then an open air theatre without a roof. One of the sources I read contained a quote from Picture Magazine stating that it was a “tin-walled, uninviting-looking enclosure” (August 2, 1920).
In 1910 it was bought by long-time owners the Szarka Brothers who built the roof. It underwent a major renovation in 1920 costing £24,000 which included private boxes as well as ensured comfortable seating and an unobstructed view of the stage and screen. It is also said to have included a garden on the roof.
Before the introduction of television in the 50s, these types of suburban theatres grew in popularity in Sydney through the 20s into their prime in the 30s and 40s. It was during this time that the Szarka Brothers joined the Hoyts chain in 1926, later selling to Hoyts in 1936 who performed more renovations.
The Newtown area was dotted with at least 8 theatres during the 30s and 40s, but during the 60s declining attendances caused many of these theatres to close. The Enmore was sold to the Louis Film Company in 1967 who used it to screen mostly Greek Films for the next few years.
During the 80s and 90s it has undergone more renovations and restorations to become less of a cinema and more of a venue catering for live performances such as drama, comedy acts and music concerts. Over the years some major names to perform here have been KISS, Kylie Minogue, Coldplay and The Rolling Stones.
Note: I try to be as accurate as possible but make no guarantees. Please use this information at your own risk.