Destroyed (or Almost) Icons: The Sad Life and Demise of a Majestic Cinema.

What a sad story on the life of what was a majestic cinema. The old Mecca cinema in Kogarah, New South Wales, which was affiliated to the Mecca cinema (originally The Savoy) in Hurstville, New South Wales.

I used to go the beautiful Savoy cinema in Hurstville, as I’m sure my cousins Donna and Jeffrey would have done, as they wereliving in Riverwood at the time. My father moved us to Ocean St in Kogarah – the ugly apartment building is still there on the corner – in 1966, and I went to the Mecca there to see movies. In fact, I had a dispute with the ticket-seller on one occasion, after the new decimal currency had been introduced, and some of the coinage…I can’t remember which – had a double value until the coins went out of circulation. As a business they took the coins at the lower value. As a consumer I took them at the higher, and by law they had to take the coins at the higher value. She was trying to tell me I didn’t have enough for the ticket, and I was arguing that my handful of mixed currency was enough -to the cent/penny. I won! Lol
That the two cinemas ended up in the hands of a “cinema Paedophile – follow the links from the first story – is indeed disturbing, though in a way adds to the colourful history of the cinemas.
Originally The Savoy in Hurstville – which became The Mecca – shows the very sad demise of the Grand Dames of Art Deco cinemas as the advent of television put a temporary halt – or rather a slowing – on cinema audiences. This was the Savoy on its opening night in 1937…
And this, sadly, is what it became…
Just as an aside, right next to my home in Samford Rd, Gaythorne, there is a building that used to be a Civic cinema, but which is now a row of nearly all “For Lease” business premises. Another sad loss.


Tim Alderman (C) 2015



1 thought on “Destroyed (or Almost) Icons: The Sad Life and Demise of a Majestic Cinema.

  1. There is a lot of history in the Hub Theatre Newtown. There are not enough of these lovely old theatres. we need to bring it back to glory days.

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