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Arcadia Theatre

Venue Summary
Name Arcadia Theatre
Address Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul, New South Wales 2515
Operation Dates 1923-06-14 - 1926-10-23
Capacity 1800
Suburban/Country Country
Purpose Cinema
Screens 1
1923-06-14 - 1926-09-01 : Owned :
1926-09-01 - 1949-10-17 : Owned : Wollongong Theatres Pty. Ltd.
Venue Comments

Built between 1922 and 1923 by local entrepreneurs the Yardley Brothers, the Arcadia was a substantial cinema of size and design comparable to city-based picture palaces of the period. The Arcadia has been described as “the most architecturally significant theatre” in the Illawarra (Davis in Huggett 2002, p.48) It is unfortunate that although the building stood for half a century before being destroyed by fire in 1973 it only served as a cinema for three years.

In September 1926 Yardley Brothers sold the Arcadia along with their other cinemas in the northern Illawarra to Wollongong Theatres Ltd who also owned the palatial New King's Theatre located one street block further to the north. One month later the buyers converted the cinema into a dance hall to be known as ‘Arcadia Palais de Danse’. The Arcadia remained a dance hall until 1943 when the space was converted making it suitable for roller skating. The building was sold to rubber manufacturer Hardie Rubber Co in July 1946 and functioned as a factory until the late 1960s (Parkinson 1995, pp.53 – 55).

Huggett, N 2002 ‘A cultural history of cinema-going in the Illawarra (1900-1950)’ PhD thesis, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong.

Parkinson, R 1995, Gauffered Velour: a history of motion picture exhibition and picture theatres in the Illawarra district of New South Wales, 1897-1994, Australian Theatre Historical Society, Campbelltown, NSW.

Venue Events
Event Date Name of Venue Address Latitude /
Capacity Suburban Purpose Screens
1923-06-14 Arcadia Theatre Lawrence Hargrave Drive
New South Wales 2515
1800 Country Cinema 1