Paragon Theatre No. 1

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Belmore Paragon No. 1 Picture Theatre, Bridge Road, Belmore. ca 1958. Copy donated by Barry Sharp, 1985.

Situated in Bridge Road, Belmore (where the current Canterbury-Bankstown Leagues Club is now located),the Paragon No. 1 opened on Monday the 19th March 1924 with a benefit performance in aid of R.A Children's Hospital and the local ambulance service. As with many early suburban theatres, the Paragon presented a barn-like appearance with its four brick walls and open lattice ceiling. With a small decorative feature above the proscenium and lattice on both sides, the screen was painted on the back wall of the stage. A four-piece orchestra accompanied the silent films. Within a few years it became obvious that another theatre was needed in the suburb. The Paragon No. 2 opened on Thursday September 27, 1928. [1]

There were seating for 1002 patrons; 735 in the stalls and 267 in the circle. The auditorium of the theatre was very plain (it was never modernised) and still had the original lattice ceiling until it's closure. Surprisingly, gas heating was only installed in this house four years before the cinema closed; during the winter months, regular patrons brought blankets to keep warm while viewing the film.

In May 1958 the Canterbury-Bankstown Leagues Club made an offer for the cinema, which was accepted. From May 1958 the cinema went on a restricted screening policy opening on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturday matinee and evening only. The cinema held its final screening on Friday 28 November 1958 showing 'Riding Shotgun' and 'Young at Heart'. The Canterbury Bankstown Leagues Club now occupies the site.

References

  1. Sharp, Barry. Memories of Belmore's Paragon Theatre No. 1. Kino Cinema Quarterly, Spring 2005. p. 34