Sir James Cruthers
Sir James Cruthers was responsible for the Cinema City movie theatre complex being built by TVW Enterprises, but sadly after TVW changed hands, the theatres were sold to Hoyts.
The architect was Bob Day, who also designed the TVW studios building.
At the time, it was the largest multi-cinema complex in WA, containing four cinemas with provisioning for a fifth in the future.
Cinema City served the community for 27 years from 6th November 1980 to 17th October 2007
It’s ironic that the cinemas were demolished at a time when people started moving back into the city.One of the former TVW staff to lament the loss of Cinema City was Phil Salinger (TVW 1959-1969) whose son Grant worked in the Videotape area.
TVW Veteran Phil Salinger in the Cinema City Projection Box
The cinema complex will now be replaced by an office, apartment and retail tower.
The development known as Equus, will rise 27 storeys above the site with 150 apartments, above 7 floors of commercial office space and an arcade of retail shops and restaurants.
Sir James addresses the gathering
At the Cinema City Wake, Sir James Cruthers addressed the guests, before the special screening that day. He pointed out that the Perth Entertainment Centre ended up with the construction being two years late and four million dollars over budget, which very nearly sent TVW broke. In comparison, Cinema City construction was achieved on time and on budget.The opening night of Cinema City was all show biz with a giant parade from the Perth Entertainment Centre, through Perth streets packed with hundreds of thousands of people, bands, floats, plenty of children marching along, dancing girls, with important guests welcomed at the door by the then Premier Sir Charles Court. It was a night to remember.
Veteran projectionist Headley Sims spoke on the technicalities involved in running a cinema complex. He described the many innovations that were incorporated, such as automation, power and projector back-up, mono-rail for cleaning the vast window frontage, and plumbing to facilitate vacuum cleaning of the extensive floor carpeting.
Allan Stiles spoke on his family involvement in cinemas, the building of the Grand Theatre, operating the Gaiety Theatre in South Perth, buying the Royal and Princess Theatres (Fremantle), and leasing the Piccadilly, (the company also expanded their suburban circuit with two more venues in the South Perth area, the Hurlingham and the Como), then just prior to the introduction of television, cinema companies started building drive-in cinemas. Finally TVW bought out the City Theatres consortium, and was visionary in retaining Arthur Stiles to run it and research the establishment of a ground breaking cinema for Perth, to be known as Cinema City. Hoyts then sold them the Skyline drive-in and Oriana Cinema in Fremantle, and they then built the Starline in Hilton Park, the Parkline at Forrestfield, the Riverline at Riverton, and the Beechline at Beechboro.The TVW owned City Theatres Company soon became an institution in Perth.
Cinema City Photo Gallery