Paragon Theatre No. 2

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Paragon No. 2 Theatre, (built 1928), Burwood Road, Belmore, ca 1958. Copy donated by Barry Sharp, 1985.

Belmore Paragon No. 2 Picture Theatre was situated on Burwood Road near the intersection of Knox Street, Belmore. Opening on the 19th October 1928, the cinema seated 1,144 patrons. For many years both theatres screened the same program; film spools being rushed between both cinemas by motorcycle carriers (in later years by cars operated by Preslands Film Service). The cinema operated on a restricted screening policy for many years prior to its closure in June, 1958. [1]

From 1959, the theatre was used by Jeldi Manufacturing Pty Ltd for storage of curtains and carpet. In 1982, the site was discovered by Andre and Edwige Rizzo, a French couple who had migrated from France in 1970. Andre had represented France in gymnastics at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, and was seeking to start a gymnastics academy. The Paragon No. 2 provided the perfect facility, enabling the gym to become the first club in NSW to provide both men’s and women’s training apparatus, and to function exclusively as a venue for artistic gymnastics. Aside from minor practical refurbishments, the lobby is in remarkable condition. At the centre of this staircase is the former box office, now a display case for the academy’s numerous achievements. The Academy is currently run by Antoine and Shannon Rizzo, who are proud to have coached young gymnasts here for the last 30 years. [2]

References

  1. Sharp, Barry. (personal communication), 1985
  2. https://pastlivesofthenearfuture.com/2012/04/15/paragon-no-2-theatreaustralian-academy-of-gymnastics-belmore-nsw//