Montreal Theatre

The heritage listed theatre was designed by Kaberry & Chard in 1929 for local draper JJ Learmont and build by Joseph Nysen.

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.The Montreal Community Theatre is of state heritage significance as a fine and rare example of an intact interwar movie theatre in rural NSW from the period where cinema going was a predominant leisure activity in Australia. The theatre has been in continuous operation as a cinema and live theatre and a social focus for the community for over 80 years. Its heritage significance at a state level is increased as rural theatres are lost through demolition and redevelopment. Only 11 theatres recognisable as such remained in 2008 of 351 surveyed in 1951. It is also historically significant as it demonstrates, through its management by Sir Nicholas Laurantas and his family, the importance of the Greek community in the development of cinema in NSW and Australia, especially in rural areas.

Its historic values are enhanced through its association with the architectural partnership, Karberry and Chard, well regarded and prolific theatre architects, who designed over 150 theatres throughout Australia, 57 of these in NSW. It is also associated with the noted philanthropist Sir Nicholas Laurantas and his family who managed the Montreal as one of their network of cinemas in the Riverina area.

The theatre is a rare, fine and representative example of a cinema theatre in the Interwar Stripped Classical style designed by architects Karberry and Chard and is a landmark in the streetscape. It has social significance as it is highly valued by the Tumut and wider district community as demonstrated in the public campaign to raise money to purchase the building in 1998.

The theatre contains a number of moveable items associated with its history of operation.  The name is an anagram of Learmont.

Its intact condition and layout including the former milk bar/refreshment room incorporated in the theatre building, as well as the history of its operation is able to yield valuable information on the development of cinematography and cinema going in rural NSW for the past 80 years or more.

For more information go to:  www.visittumut.com.au

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Physical address

Russell Street, Tumut

 

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