A point in time...

The Astor Theatre was built in 1914-15, in Federation Free Classical style, to a design by David McClure and extensively renovated in the Inter-War Art Deco style to a design by William Leighton. Further renovations by Phillip McAllister were carried out in 1989.

When it was first opened on 5 November 1919 it was called The Lyceum. Architect and owner-builder, Simon Bremner Alexander claimed it was the coolest building in the state. At the time this was due to the exceptional ventilation. 

The venue was multi-purpose back then too and on Tuesday and Thursday nights it was hired for dancing.The orchestra also made use of The Lyceum. Next door to the venue was an open-air theatre where silent pictures continued in the gardens even after sound made its way into movies.

In 1930 it was reinvented again and named the State Theatre and State Summer Gardens and later in the ’30s it got a facelift and extensive renovations. 

Finally in 1941, the venue became known as what it is today, the Astor Theatre. The venue had to lose ‘State’ from its title due to a government decree that no private company could use the term.

As time went on the Astor was spilt into two theatres for adult and Italian films, was used as a bingo hall, accommodated karate and was threatened with extinction when in 1988 there was a call for it to be demolished. Public outcry prevented this and it is now heritage listed.

In 1991, the theatre was completely refurbished again and many of these elements remain today. 

Over more than 100 years the Astor Theatre has showcased many talented artists and continues to do so today.