Hunting down the Lyceum Theatre

Since finding out about the Lyceum Theatre, we couldn’t stop thinking about it and so we started looking for any detail we could find.

Trove had lots of scanned articles mentioning the Lyceum mostly news about the Regent being established at Town Hall in 1937 and a couple of ads promoting movies and even a story of a dance held by the Basketball Association in 1928 presenting a shield called the Allison Shield to the winning Roman Catholic team.

The Lyceum Theatre was reportedly established in 1910 but there are two pictures dated 1905 with a sign saying Lyceum Pictures and reports that the building was previously named Temperance Hall pre-1910.

Mr Samuel MacGavin was the man responsible for founding the Lyceum and he ran it until ill health caused him to put his family in charge before dying in March 1918.

It was not uncommon to read Lyceum Pictureland, Lyceum Pictures, Lyceum Theatre and Lyceum Hall in the newspapers of the time.

From what we’ve read on the report and what we’ve seen on Trove, the theatre was a place with the lot as locals and visitors could partake in Dances, watching Movies and doing some Skating on a weekly basis there was even one instance of Boxing and Wrestling.

The theatre received an update in 1927 with new chairs and interior installed in a bid to become the picture palace of town.

The Lyceum can be seen in this late 1930’s picture at Deniliquin History in Photos, for locals it is in the same spot as the Regent but for general readers who don’t know where the Regent is, it is the building right behind the tree just a little off centre.

A past owner of the Theatre was the Probert family, the family was well known for owning the Globe Hotel for many years.

In December 1937, Riverina Amusements Ltd went into liquidation ending the screening of movies at Lyceum Theatre.

In 1941, 2QN was brought from Deniliquin Broadcasting Company by the Regent Broadcasting Company and the 2QN studio was moved from the School of Arts to Lyceum Hall.

So after finding out all of the above, We put in ‘Lyceum Theatre Deniliquin’ in Google to learn its ultimate fate and the third result was Ennor Engineering and in their history they tell the story of buying the Lyceum Theatre in 1953 and instead of demolishing it, they dismantled it and moved it north to 133 Davidson Street.

Ennor Engineering’s history detailed report has given us great details for example the building was auctioned in June 1953 and was rebuilt by Hardman Bros. in December that year, the report also has the dimensions of the Lyceum (’40 x ‘110) and reported that the frame was made of Oregon which we believe is also known as Douglas fir.

The report goes on to discuss the changes to the building from the shortening of the columns (building height) to having a new brick frontage and changing windows plus more but it is the best report on the Lyceum and we are grateful that Ennor Engineering kept great records.

Dot Murphy uploaded a picture in 2012 to Deniliquin History in Photos of the Theatre and below it we have a picture of the Ennor Engineering building so you get an idea of the past and present.

Lyceum.png

We want to thank Deniliquin History in Photos for inspiring us to find out more about local history, they have probably given us a very expensive hobby but it sure is a lot of fun.

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