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Taits Auditorium / Metro / Mayfair, Melbourne

Venue Summary
Name Taits Auditorium / Metro / Mayfair, Melbourne
Address 167 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Operation Dates 1913-05-17 - 1982-02-27
Capacity 1422
Suburban/Country City
Purpose Cinema
Screens 1
1934-04-27 - 1971-06-30 : Leased : Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Theatres
1971-07-01 - 1972-01-01 : Leased : Greater Union Organisation Pty Ltd
Venue Comments

Originally this theatre was used for performances as well as screening silent films by various operators, including Union Theatres. Eventually Union Theatres took over the theatre from brothers J & N Tait in 1929. (Sound films came to the Auditorium on May 3, 1932.)

According to Thorne (2001) an intervention by the owners of the property, the Presbyterian assembly, stopped the lease to Union Theatres. The demise of the space as a concert hall was announced on Jan 23, 1934.

Transformed into an Empire style picture palace and opening as the Metro on April 27, 1934. It was Metro Goldwyn Mayer's first theatre in Melbourne. It later (1952) became known as the Metro Collins Street in order to distinguish it from the Fullers New Amphitheatre / Palace / Apollo / St James / Metro, Melbourne.

MGM vacated Collins Street on June 30, 1971. The last film to screen under the MGM banner was Doctor Zhivago.

After the Metro Goldwyn Mayer folded, the theatre came under the control of Greater Union, and when they vacated in 1974, it came under independent control and was renamed the Mayfair theatre.

In 1982 the theatre eventually closed and the site redeveloped into a shopping centre.

-Opened: 17/5/1913
-Architect: Nahum Barnet
-Builder: Clements Langford (Thorne, 1981)
-Opened: 4/1934
-Architect: C. N. Hollinshed
-Builder: E.A. Watts (Thorne, 1981)

Argus May 6, 1913.

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

Everyones, 1934

Film Weekly. Film Weekly: Motion Picture Directory. Sydney. 1946/7-1971

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

Manzie, K 1953, 'Stop Press: Trade opinion correct,' "Film Weekly," April 30, 1953.

Manzie, K 1953, 'Jackpot query on MGM theatre lease,' "Film Weekly," April 30, 1953

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

Manzie, K 1953, 'Two previews,' "Film Weekly", June 11, 1953, p. 14.

'M-G-M Melb. Theatre opens at Easter', Everyones, February 14, 1934.

Mc Kenzie (1981) reports the sale of the Mayfair Cinema (former Metro). Closure due February 1982. He also reviews the building's history "Originally opening its doors at the turn of the century...later became the Melbourne showcase for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. With the loss of MGM, the house reverted to GUO who closed it some six months after taking over. David Wayside, a then manager for the Dendy circuit, was able to pick up the lease of the theatre..."

Mc Kenzie, J 1981, 'Along the film row', Australasian Cinema, 18 December, p. 62.

'New Metro theatre: opened by Lord Mayor' The Argus 28 April, 1934 ( reports on the opening of the Metro, Collins Street)
Page, F 2001, 'The Auditorium- birth of a showcase' Cinema Record, Iss. 33, Winter, pp.24-25.
The Sun, 1953, 'Metro for M-G-M films still', 30 Apr., p. 3.
-difference over rent between MGM and the Presbyterian Church, which owns the building has been settled. Company 20 year lease expired.

Thorne, R 2001, 'From concert hall to cinema', Kino Cinema Quarterly, no.78. p. 6.
Thorne, R 1981, 'Cinemas of Australia via USA', pp.80-87.

Tod, L 1989, 'Metro: the history', Kino Cinema Quarterly, no.27 p.16-9.

Tod, L & Scott, M 1989, 'Metro: Collins street' Kino: journal of the Australian theatre historical society No. 27, p. 16-22.

Venue Events
Event Date Name of Venue Address Latitude /
Capacity Suburban Purpose Screens
1913-05-17 Taits Auditorium 167 Collins Street
Victoria 3000
2400 City Live Theatre 1
1934-04-27 Metro

1479 Cinema
1952-01-01 Metro Collins Street


1974-01-01 Mayfair


Films Distributor Dates
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-04-23 - 1934-04-23
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-04-24 - 1934-04-24
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-04-25 - 1934-04-25
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-04-26 - 1934-04-26
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-04-27 - 1934-04-27
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-04-28 - 1934-04-28
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-04-29 - 1934-04-29
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-04-30 - 1934-04-30
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-05-01 - 1934-05-01
Dancing Lady Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 1934-05-02 - 1934-05-02
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