The Star Court Theatre and Arcade sign in Magellan Street, Lismore.
The Star Court Theatre and Arcade sign in Magellan Street, Lismore. Cathy Adams

Historic Star Court Theatre closes doors for "rejuvenation"

LISMORE'S historic Star Court Theatre has closed its doors as a music venue and as a cinema.

"The Star Court is undergoing rejuvenation and will be closed until further notice," is the announcement published on the theatre's website.

"Please watch this space as we hope bring you more fantastic entertainment in our wonderful venue," added the website, but offered no indication of the kind of rejuvenation the venue may see.

Instead, it says "the Star Court Theatre will not be holding events while we develop our plans for the future. We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your support".

The venue's Facebook page did not include any details of the situation, but comments from local movie lovers on social media pointed to the fact that film distributors will only provide films in digital format in the near future.

The final film screening at the venue happened last Sunday evening, with a couple dozen customers surprised by the news.

Owner Nicola Volpato declined to comment on the closure or his plans for the theatre.

The theatre has had some blows in recent years, with NORPA, which had long used it as its base, moving out in favour of a refurbished Lismore City Hall, and a failed bid in 2008 to convince Lismore City Council to buy the theatre building and take over running it.

History

  • The Star Court Theatre was the first major venue for musical and theatrical events in Northern NSW, opening on 18th July, 1921, built by TJ Dorgan.
  • With the arrival of sound in 1929, the theatre announced an upgrade to be equipped with RCA Photophone and the entire theatre was refurbished with carpet throughout. New seats were also installed in the Dress Circle with new drapes and furnishings.
  • The Star Court reopened on November 4th, 1929 with a gala viewing of MGM's Alias Jimmy Valentine.
  • Fred Kehoe was manager from 1934 to 1963.
  • The Star Court changed hands in the 1960s, first to North Coast Theatres and later to HJ Harder.
  • Birch Caroll and Coyle acquired it in 1980 and refurbished it resulting in a seating capacity of 450. It was renamed Cinema Lismore.
  • Dr Floriano Volpato purchased it in 1996. In the same year, Dr Volpato was awarded a medal in the General Division of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the community and for saving the venue from an uncertain future.

Source: www.starcourtheatre.com.au



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