History: Looking Back

Looking Back history feature: The Bulli Royal Theatre

Looking Back

The Royal Theatre, Bulli 1930 The Royal Theatre, Bulli 1930

ON the corner of Hopetoun Street and the Princes Highway, where Bulli meets Woonona, is a large building that currently trades as a gymnasium exclusively for women. The building originally opened as the Royal Theatre in 1924.

The silent film, lilies of the film, was screened to a selected audience when the theatre opened in 1924. However, the first public screening in the Royal was the Buster Keating silent film, Our Hospitality (1923).

The Illawarra Mercury reported on Friday September 12 1924:

 A MAGNIFICENT THEATRE

IN BULLI-WOONONA.

The hub of Bulli-Woonona on Tuesday night was undoubtedly the intersection of Hopotoun St. with Main Sth. Coast Road, on which now stands the majestic building just completed by Wollongong Theatres, Ltd., and which on Tuesday night was opened for the first time in all its grandour and brilliant illumination. It was really a ‘trial run’ and private inspection by representatives…

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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