Australasian Gazette: A Unique Audience

Australasian Gazette: A Unique Audience
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This segment from an Australasian Gazette newsreel from approximately 1920 shows injured soldiers from Caulfield Military Hospital attending a special matinee screening of a film, arranged by the management at Elsternwick Theatre. Injured soldiers travel in wheelchairs or are pushed in mobile hospital beds to Elsternwick Theatre, Caulfield.

Elsternwick Theatre, now known as Classic Cinemas, is the longest continuously operating cinema in Victoria. The site, purchased in 1888, was initially a community hall and occasionally housed a makeshift cinema. The property was sold in 1911 and converted to a picture theatre before closing in 1929 at the start of the Great Depression.

The building reopened as a dance palais during the 1930s and '40s before becoming the Esquire Theatre in 1946 (and later the Sharon Theatre). It has operated as Classic Cinemas since 1971.

Summary by Elizabeth Taggart-Speers