Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Richard Neville Hughes

Interviewed by Nancy Johnson on 24 July 1996
Subject: ,

Neville Hughes. … And of course there was the Cremorne pictures – old Mr. Lane, who lived in Avenue Road down on the left-hand side, near about opposite where Keston Avenue is. He built the Cremorne Theatre where the Caltex place is now. Not where the Orpheum is, on the corner of Cabramatta Road and Military Road. He built that. It was the only picture theatre in Mosman at that time. It was there for many years. I think I don’t know when the pictures were removed to the Orpheum. Anyway getting back to picture theatres where the RSL Club was vacant land, and every year the circus used to come – it was a vacant block. Also I remember the old ABC where the Bank of NSW is now in Spit Road that was the picture theatre, old ABC that was a picture theatre. They had one serial ‘The Clutching Hand’ every Saturday that of course would always finish up as the climax was coming. The seats were just wooden forms and it had a canvas roof, it only had a canvas roof on. Then on the opposite corner was the old ‘Australian’ where Sizzlers is now.

At one time it was a skating rink there one time, one time for a while. I’m not making this up; I’m very clear in my memory about these things. The ABC there was a picture called ‘Quo Vadis’ on, and at The Australian opposite, on the opposite corner, there was a picture called ‘Cleopatra’, the same type of thing, anyway dad took us to see ‘Quo Vadis’ but we couldn’t get in, it was full. We went across and saw ‘Cleopatra’ at The Australian.
There was a picture show opposite the Mosman Hotel, Brady Street. There is that block between Brady Street and Cowles Road, there used to be a tyre place there, and I think Mr. Eldridge had a second-hand place there too. Do you remember Mr. Eldridge at all? He was an Alderman, I think. Well he had a second-hand place there, but before that there was a picture show, The Lyric, I think it was. When we were at school, I was in the higher class I think, it must have been 1915 because there was a picture there called ‘Scot’s Expedition to the South Pole’, and the classes at school were picked out to go up to see this picture, we formed up and went up and we saw this picture, but afterwards it became this tyre place at the back, and then a second hand place, the tyre place which I think is still there.

Nancy Johnson. The pictures back then silent movies?

Neville Hughes. Yes silent movies. – The Lyric, or The Lyceum, I think it was the Lyric. I don’t know how long it was there for. What else was there round there? Next to the ABC theatre in Spit Road was Cox’s Billiard Saloon, I remember Cox’s Billiard Saloon.