Thursday, February 1, 2018

Bygone images from Sydney's Suburbs

Queen St, Campbelltown in the south western suburbs of Sydney, early 1900s.

Stanmore Road towards Enmore, 1875

Newington College in Stanmore, inner western suburbs of Sydney, in 1890.

The Red Cow Hotel Penrith c1905 and 2016.

The original Scenic Railway at Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Tourists rode in a coal skip.  ca.1915.

Old Gladesville Bridge, year unknown

Peats Ferry Road (now the Pacific Highway) at Waitara,in the Upper North Shore of Sydney in 1900.

Summer Hill Theatre at 1 Sloane Street, Summer Hill, Sydney.   demolished

Summer Hill Theatre

Located in the western Sydney suburb of Summer Hill. The Summer Hill Theatre opened on 29th October 1930. Designed in a magnificent Spanish Baroque style by architect Emile Sodersten. The facade looked like the ornately carved stern of a 17th Century Spanish galleon. Inside the 2,043-seat auditorium, decorated by interior designer Arnold Zimmerman, the proscenium and side walls contained false boxes on each side. There were large urns, and gargoyles, to enhance the atmosphere of the building. In the centre of the ceiling was a large saucer dome, which had a huge chandelier hanging from its centre.

Taken over by Western Suburbs Cinemas chain in 1939, it was refurbished, again to the designs of Arnold Zimmerman, and the seating capacity was reduced to 1,992. The Summer Hill Theatre had a ‘Gala Re-opening’ on 5th August 1939, with Cary Grant in "Gunga Din" and "Four Girls In White".

The Summer Hill Theatre was closed on 27th June 1959 with Kenneth Moore in "The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw" and "The Heart Within".

It re-opened under new ownership on 7th August 1959 as the Grosvenor Theatre, but closed again on 30th January 1960 with "Ask Any Girl" and "Booby Trap". From December 1960, it was used as a warehouse, until 26th January 1962, when it re-opened again, using the circle seating area only. Closed again on 13th August 1965. Another independent operator took over in in July 1966, and began screening foreign language films until its final closure in 1969.

The building was put up ‘For Sale’, and was sold in August 1970. It was badly vandalised, and when complaints came in about the ‘eyesore’ condition of the building, the local council ordered its demolition, which took place in 1970/1971. An office block was built on the site, which in early-2011, was empty and ‘For Sale’.

Men at work on railway bridge near Petersham, Battle Bridge Creek in the inner west of Sydney in c1885

Railway bridge near Petersham, Battle Bridge Creek

Parramatta Road. Lidcombe, Western of Sydney, photo taken looking West in 1927

New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill, year unknown

Marrickville Hospital, year unknown.


Marrickville Hospital is a now closed hospital in the inner west Sydney, Australia, suburb of Marrickville.

A group to fund the start of the site was begun in 1895. The foundation stone was laid in 1897 with the hospital opening in 1899 as Marrickville Cottage Hospital. In 1899, the hospital proper opened, and was renamed Marrickville District Hospital in 1922. In 1990, the hospital closed, and has remained empty since. In 2015, Marrickville Council released plans to redevelop the hospital site into a residential and commercial development including a new library and 'community hub'. The council entered into a partnership with property giant Mirvac to deliver the project. The project is expected to set a new benchmark in sustainability and quality of design. The site is located on the corner of Marrickville and Livingstone roads.

Leichhardt 1921 50th Jubilee procession

Did you know there was a coal mine in Balmain the inner-west of Sydney from the late 1800s until the 1940s. Above:  loading of a coal ship by conveyors and elevators at Balmain Colliery.  

Manly Beach, mid 1960s

Pee Freans buiscuit factory, Ashfield, 1937, now Bunnings.
Compare with

Rushcutters Bay Road, Sydney to South Head, 1877

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