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St Georges Hall / Hoyts De Luxe / Esquire, Melbourne

Venue Summary
Name St Georges Hall / Hoyts De Luxe / Esquire, Melbourne
Address 238 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Operation Dates 1908-01-01 - 1976-03-31
Capacity 1125
Suburban/Country City
Purpose Cinema
Screens 1
Roles
Venue Comments

In the early 1900s, the site was called the St. Georges Hall. The floor space was leased to any one who wanted to put on a show. During this time it was also used to screen novelty films- this turned out to be very popular, so much so that when the movie industry started to flourish, the proprietors of Hoyts (which were leasing the building) decided to build their new theatre there. The Hoyts De Luxe theatre was opened in 1915.

"On the 15th of November 1946 the De Luxe was renamed the Esquire Theatre. It opened with The Spanish Main, six weeks, followed up with The Bells Of St. Mary's, eight weeks, The Spiral Staircase, six weeks, Caravan, Five weeks, ... " (Walters p. 212)

According to Walters (p. 215) Hoyts closed the Esquire for renovations on the 19th of October 1957 and re-opened October 30, 1957.

The Esquire was the only theatre on the Hoyts circuit at the time that was deemed suitable for the new big screen productions.

Film Weekly records the following changes in capacity:
1946/7 = 1764
1949/50 = 1576
1964/5 = 1216
1968/9 = 1125

References

Cinema & Theatre Historical Society 1997, CInema index : Melbourne cinemas, suburban cinemas, Victorian drive-ins. CATHS, Victoria.

Film Weekly (18 September 1969, p.6.) reviews the history of the Esquire, stating that in 1907 it was known as St Georges Hall. A year later it was leased to Dr Arthur Russell, a Hoyts theatre founder who called it Hoyts De Luxe (c1919).

Kumm, E 1994, 'De Luxe architecture found', Trust News, v.23, n.3, December, p.18.

Manzie, K 1953 'Near record in Easter changes: 10 new bills,' Film Weekly, April 9, p. 16.

Manzie, K 1953 'Devil debut provides grade-A pubcy material,' "Film Weekly", May 14, 1953, p. 13.

Smith, I & White, E 2005 'The peoples popular picture palace: from Deluxe to Esquire' CinemaRecord, Cinema and Theatre Historical Society, no. 46, pp. 21-9

Stevens, J 1976, 'The charge of the magic light brigade', April 22. (Bertrand, I Cinema file: 235 Bourke St. (unpublished research)).

Thorne, R 2002, 'De Luxe', Kino Cinema Quarterly, no. 80, p. 12
Thorne, R 1981, Cinemas of Australia via USA, pp.135-136.

Walters, T 2009, The Picture Palaces of Melbourne, pp. 212-8

Venue Events
Event Date Name of Venue Address Latitude /
Longitude
Capacity Suburban Purpose Screens
1908-01-01 St Georges 238 Bourke Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
-37.81306
144.96655
City Cinema 1
1915-04-26 Hoyts De Luxe



2000
1946-11-15 Esquire



1764
1950-01-01



1576
1957-10-30



1371
1965-01-01



1216
1969-01-01



1125

Screenings

Screenings
Films Distributor Dates
Pride of the Force British Empire Films (BEF) 1934-01-01 - 1934-01-14
Hayseeds, The British Empire Films (BEF) 1934-01-01 - 1934-01-14
Ticket In Tatts Universal 1934-01-15 - 1934-02-25
Roof, The RKO Radio Pictures 1934-02-26 - 1934-04-08
This Week Of Grace RKO Radio Pictures 1934-02-26 - 1934-04-08
Ladies Must Love Universal 1934-04-09 - 1934-04-22
SOS Iceberg Universal 1934-04-09 - 1934-04-22
Happy British Empire Films (BEF) 1934-04-23 - 1934-05-06
Scotland Yard Mystery British Empire Films (BEF) 1934-04-23 - 1934-05-06
Deluge RKO Radio Pictures 1934-05-07 - 1934-05-20
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