Warringah Expressway: Demolishing the Orpheum

Warringah Expressway: Demolishing the Orpheum
Presented by the New South Wales Department of Main Roads
Access fees

The North Sydney Orpheum Theatre is demolished in 1962 to make way for the construction of the Warringah Expressway. A map illustrates the first section of the planned route from the Sydney Harbour Bridge through North Sydney. It is designed to reduce traffic on the streets of the northern suburbs. A San Francisco engineering consulting firm prepares specifications for the expressway. Nine million dollars is spent acquiring land for the 500 buildings demolished to make way for the expressway. Buildings demolished include North Sydney landmarks such as the Orpheum. Enough demolition was carried out by mid-1964 that preliminary construction could commence.

The North Sydney Orpheum – the blue corner building seen prior to demolition, and then from its partly-demolished interior – was just one of the landmarks demolished to make way for the expressway. The Orpheum was built in 1913 and run by the Virgona family who also opened the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Cremorne in 1935, which is still operating after more than 75 years. The North Sydney Orpheum Theatre was rebuilt in 1923 and 1937, before being demolished in 1962.

Summary by Poppy De Souza