Cinema and Audience Research Project

Login →

Gowerville / Melody, Preston

Venue Summary
Name Gowerville / Melody, Preston
Address 175-177 Plenty Road, Preston, Victoria 3072
Operation Dates 1938-01-01 - 1959-01-01
Capacity 1250
Suburban/Country Suburb
Purpose Cinema
Screens 1
1938-01-01 - 1953-01-01 : Exhibitor : Guest, S
1954-01-01 - 1960-01-01 : Exhibitor : Star Picture Theatre Pty Ltd
Venue Comments

"The "Gowerville Theatre" opened in 175 Plenty Road, Preston (near Bell Street)in 1926, and was described as "one of the most modern in the suburbs". It opened in May 1930 after installing "special talkie gear at immense expense". On the programme was "Mickey the Mouse". By July 1930, it was running in conjunction with the Star Theatre, showing the same programmes. Colour film had now been developed, and both cinemas showed the world's first technicolour operetta "Rio Rita". During the Depression, it was closed in 1930, re-opening in 1938. Several other cinemas were opened during the movie boom time from the late 1930s, during World War 2 into the 1950s until drive-in cinemas became popular, followed by the popularity of television from 1956 onwards.
A smart marketing move by the theatre's management saw a couple of interesting local Football (Northern Bullants) awards. At the Monday night screenings, patron were asked to vote for their best player (at the Gowerville) and the fairest player (at the Star)from the previous Saturday's game. The Gowerville was demolished in the early 1960s." (Darebin Historical Encyclopedia)

Film Weekly records the following changes in capacity:
1946/7-1949/50 = 970
1950/51-1952/53 = 960
1953/54-1960/61 = 1250

Catrice, D. 1991, Cinemas in Melbourne 1896-1942. Thesis (M.A.) Monash University, 1991.

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

Darebin Libraries, Darebin Historical Encyclopedia, viewed 30 March 2010,

Film Weekly, Film Weekly: motion picture directory, Film Weekly, Sydney. 1946/7-1952/3

'Theatre reopening', The Argus. December 3, 1938. p. 13.
...The Gowerville Theatre, in Plenty road, East Preston, will be reopened at ...The Mayor of Preston (Councillor F.G. Pike) will declare the theatre open...The theatre will be open to the public, begining at the matinee on Saturday...

Venue Events
Event Date Name of Venue Address Latitude /
Capacity Suburban Purpose Screens
1926-05-06 Gowerville 175-177 Plenty Road
Victoria 3072
Suburb Cinema 1


1954-01-01 Preston Melody