Category Archives: History

First films at the Regent (1937)

When the Town Hall was christened the Regent Theatre and opened in the first week of February 1937, patrons were treated to an opening night of short films, a Popeye cartoon and two features.

‘Piccadilly Jim’ was the first movie shown, a very small sample of the film is on YouTube and can be seen below, a description of the movie can be found here.

The Popeye Cartoon didn’t have a title listed but several were released in 1936 and may of been sent to Deniliquin in 1937 and so we’ve picked one from 1936 for readers.

The second film was called ‘The Devil Is A Sissy’ and featured three of the greatest talents of perhaps all time in Mickey Rooney (played Andy Hardy in the Andy Hardy series of films), Jackie Cooper (known for playing Perry White in 1970’s – 1980’s Superman movies) and Freddie Bartholomew (starred in Oscar winning movie Captains Courageous with Spencer Tracy), unfortunately there is no clips on YouTube but IMDb has a description of the movie.

The next week had a Clark Gable movie in the form of 1934’s ‘Men in White’ and the Olivia De Havilland movie ‘Alibi Ike’, the trailers of which you can see below.

After this great start, The Regent lived in the Town Hall for another decade and a half before a new cinema was built on the spot of the Lyceum (which in turn moved to Davidson Street) in 1953.

Ironically there was a plan to build a Theatre where the Methodist Church was in Cressy Street but for some currently unknown reason it was never built despite the site changing hands twice.

Deniliquin’s Café’s

Deniliquin has had a lot of Cafe’s over the years and we’re attempting to name them all which will take some time to do as we look over photographs and other images and records.

Broadway Café
Mona Café
Café Bakery 285 (current)
Bronte’s Gourmet (current)
Crossing Café
McDonald’s Café (not the Golden Arches)
Globe Hotel and Café
Scoop n Brew
Primrose Café
Red Rose Diner (current)
Deni Diner
Blue Sea Café
Black Cat Café
Central Café
Old Dublin Café





Tru-Frute label collection

Tru-Frute Cordials was a much loved icon of Deniliquin during its long run of existence as a provider of drinks.

Over time it was called Tru Frute, Maher Bros. Trufrute Cordials, Trufrute Cordials and Tru-Frute and the range of drinks they provided was amazing from Vanilla to Mandarin to Sarsaparilla and the popular flavour of Blue Heaven.

Tru-Frute’s array of drinks were made at 103 Hardinge Street, they may be long gone but the building itself remains and thanks to eBay readers can check out five labels from a variety of eras.

There is still a decent amount of Tru-Frute memorabilia around, aside from the labels two intact bottles with almost perfect labels were found on a property in 2015 and other locals have other items as well.

This entry will continue to be updated as more facts come to hand.


Deniliquin Football Teams

Deniliquin have had a lot of Football clubs over time from junior football to senior football.

This story will be updated over time as more records are looked at and added to the narrative.

Deniliquin Rams (named Rams after name search in 1984)
Deniliquin Rovers
Deniliquin Colts (known as Red and Whites)
Railway Football Club (stopped briefly in 1915)
North Deniliquin
West Deniliquin
East (East End?)

Local Grand Final clashes

Rovers defeated Colts in the 1930 Grand Final 14.14 – 98 to 10.10 – 70
West Deniliquin defeated North Deniliquin in 1953


Murray Football League
Echuca League
Edwards River League
Edward River Junior Football League
Picola & District Football League

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.

It was not uncommon to read Lyceum Pictures in one publication, Lyceum Theatre in another and Lyceum Hall in yet another.

From what we’ve read on the report and what we’ve seen on Trove, The Lyceum Theatre was a place with the lot with Dances, Movies and Skating all taking place on a weekly basis there was even one instance of Boxing and Wrestling.

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, its the building right behind the tree just a little off centre.

A past owner of the Lyceum was Lewis Frank Probert who at one stage owned the Lyceum, Globe Hotel and Globe Café all in one go until the late 1930’s.

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.

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.



The Coronation Medals

In 1937, The then British Empire had a new King, King George VI.

As part of the celebrations, 1000 medals were distributed at Deniliquin as you can see in the newspaper clip from the Deniliquin Independent (former Deniliquin newspaper).

The Independent also reported that Mayor J.E McFaull also received a medal along with mayors from nearby shires.

Coronation medal.png


Recently a medal became available on eBay and is now back in local hands and it is from either one of the two events.

The medal is smaller than a twenty cent piece making it seemingly too small for a mayor yet it would seem too small for a kid.

It is entirely possible the kids medals were made specifically for the Deniliquin area making this one of them.

If anyone has the exact same medal, please let us know.

Regardless of where it is a mayor medal or children’s medal, It is still a great look at history especially when in that newspaper link you can see details of the movies that were playing at both the Regent Theatre and the Lyceum Theatre (click on highlighted link).


Railway Map

June 5 2017

We have found a 1973 Victorian Railways map showing various stations in the network at a time it was considered at its peak.

The marked distance between Deniliquin station and Spencer Street (now known as Southern Cross) is 306 kilometres.

Between Deniliquin and Echuca were the stations of Mathoura, Moira and Moama.

The line between Echuca and Deniliquin was split off between Moama and Moira and created a line that went all the way up to Balranald with stops in places like Caldwell and Wakool.

There is also a line to a place called Warragoon but it is not the Warragoon near Deniliquin, this Warragoon is 83km east of that place.

Deniliquin lost its rail service in January 1979 whilst Balranald lost their service in 1975 and many services in country Victoria were shut down by the mid 1990’s with some services brought back in recent times.

EDIT: Information on Warragoon line added, scanned map expanded to include Warragoon.



The 1916 postcard

On December 22nd 1916 a postcard was written with the aim of it being sent to a place named ‘Carrigan Villa’ on the corner of Edward and George Street.

Edward must be Edwardes and that would put the place next to the Baptist Church.


The would of been recipient of the postcard was Connie and the writer was a Jean Williamson who wishes Connie a Happy Xmas and a prosperous new year as well as talking about an Albert who was on the Salisbury Plains and was going to France and Jean will send a longer letter next time.


The postcard was brought online for the picture of the bridge on the other side of the postcard as most postcards offered online are blank but this postcard has left us with questions

Who was Connie?
What was Carrigan Villa?
Did Albert come back from France?
Did Connie get a letter instead?
Is any of Connie’s relatives still in Deniliquin?

Does anyone have the answers to any of the above questions?

The reason why it wasn’t sent seems to be clear, there was no place to put the stamp without covering up the address plus the writing was overlapping but almost 101 years since this postcard was written it still has our attention and that is the power of history and curiosity.

EDIT: It is considered that what looked like a B is a C so what was considered to be Bonnie is Connie and Barrigan Villa is Carrigan Villa.

Old Train tickets found

Collectors of local historical items from town have found two train tickets from the days where you could take a train ride into Victoria.

The two tickets are ones from Deniliquin to Castlemaine and Deniliquin to Echuca and both tickets are no wider than a ticket you would get from an arcade machine.

Locals have been pushing for the re-establishment of the train line to enable users to once again to into Victoria and the vision of past tickets may make people more eager for such a service to resume in the future.

The development of an Air Freight Hub appears to be the focus of Edward River Council though several locals think that is either pie in the sky stuff or is won’t take off like the Ethanol Plant that was planned for the town in the past.

Train Ticket.jpg