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Roxy Parramatta








Inter-War Spanish Mission


stucco, terracotta


A beautiful old Theater originally built in 1930. It became a cinema and is now a night club.
  The Roxy Theatre is set back from the street behind an open air, arcade-lined forecourt.
Special thanks to 
One of the changes that makes our lives in the 20th century so different from earlier generations is the way we spend our leisure time. "Moving pictures" were first introduced to NSW in the 1910s. By the 1930s cinemas were found across Sydney suburbs and cinema-going had become a part of modern life.
The Roxy Theatre in Parramatta is a striking example of the "Picture Palaces" that were built between the wars. Both films and cinemas in this period were deliberately escapist and were strongly influenced by the United States. The decoration and fittings of these lavish cinemas provided an opulence and grandeur that was affordable for everyone.

The Spanish Mission style theatre is richly decorated and retains much of the original layout including stuccoed walls, arches, false balconies, a "Spanish" style ceiling of panelled and painted timber and a central dome in the main auditorium.

The theatre was the first in a proposed chain of suburban theatres managed by Roxy Theatres Ltd. It opened on 6 February 1930 with "a packed audience and an interested crowd of several thousands in the street opposite the brilliantly-illuminated entrance". Originally it had 1,923 seats and though it was opened with the Talkies it had a Christie theatre organ which was reputedly one of the largest and finest in the state.

The cinema remained unaltered until the 1970s when Hoyts added three more cinemas. In 1988 the forecourt was refurbished with new shops installed in the arcaded wings. The Roxy Theatre is listed on Parramatta's Local Environmental Plan, the National Trust Register and the Register of the National Estate.