• Commissioned and originally owned by E.C. (Son) Yeomans
  • Designed by Cowper, Murphy and Appleford Architects
  • Built by Hansen and Yunken for £25,000
  • Opened April 30th 1938 by the Mayor of Footscray, Cr Free
  • Good will messages and telegrams received from Jeanette Macdonald, Norma Shearer , Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Clark Gable & Robert Taylor
  • First movie - Maytime (starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy)
  • 1971 - the Sun Theatre is sold to Cosmopolitan Motion Pictures for the screening of Greek language movies
  • 1982 - the Sun Theatre is shut down by the Department of Public Health for unsanitary toilets and poor carpets
  • 1986 - sold to 3 Melbourne businessmen who proposed to convert the Sun Theatre into a wedding reception centre
  • 1988 - the Sun Theatre is sold to Mr John Ashley for $90,000 who plans to convert the cinema into a home renovation centre
  • 1994 - Mr Ashleys proposal is knocked back by the Historic Building Council and City of Maribyrnong, the HBC applies two building orders upon the property as the building crumbles and deteriorates with neglect and vagrancy
  • 1995 - the Sun Theatre is sold to MGS Properties Pty Ltd for $265,000
  • MGS have established business interests in the cinema industry since 1990
  • MGS proposed to operate their business (manufacture of cinema products) in a unique environment believing it would add to their credibility and make a great workspace for staff
  • During the planning permit application stage, the City of Maribyrnong CEO, Melbourne West MP, Planning Department and HBC encourage the inclusion of 'Future Cinema' upon the submission documents
  • Only one objection is received to the planning application, from Mr John Ashley, who it seems when he sold the Theatre did not include the land at the rear of the building in the sale documents, despite having never been sold separately previously. MGS Properties is then forced to purchase this land in order to proceed with their plans and not have to knock down the rear of the building which lay over the property boundary.
  • MGS embark on a substantial restoration/renovation of the building, spending around $350,000 over a 2.5 year period
  • The owners are placed under increasing pressure by the local community and the City of Maribyrnong to operate a cinema
  • 1996 - MGS complete the restoration of the facade and re-light the Sun neon at the Yarraville festival to a highly emotive community crowd in excess of 2500
  • 1997 - MGS complete the refurbishment of the foyer and within months decide to give the cinema a go as a film society
  • 1997 - Java café tenants one of the shop units within the Sun theatre - Yarravilles first 'groovy' cafe
  • July 1997 - launch of the Sun Film Society offering membership admission to movie screenings one weekend per month
  • Despite community pressure to open the cinema, attendance is very scant as the Sun Theatre attempts to discover it's target audience
  • A lot of media interest is taken in the Sun Theatre (refer Appendix A - Chronology of newspaper articles)
  • 1998 - Property prices in Yarraville soar and gentrification of the area is evident
  • Attendance at the Sun Theatre increases as the programme is expanded to weekly screenings and Yarravilles new population provide the audience motivation
  • 1999 - The Sun Bookshop tenants no. 10 Ballarat St and is opened at the Yarraville festival
  • 2000 - The millennium party - reported as 'the place to be' with 3000 attendees to a free outdoor screening and fireworks show
  • 2001 - The Sun Theatre has over 7000 members, supported in the majority by City of Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay residents
  • The Sun Film Society discovers a unique blend of art house, golden oldies, Hitchcock, Australian and quality mainstream cinema appears as the best mix for their discerning audience.
  • The Sun Film Society frequently turns away patrons due to the limited seating capacity (134, with lot's of leg room and tables between seats)
  • 2002 - MGS relocates it's offices and workshop to Williamstown, and construction begins to carefully divide the once 1050 seat auditorium into 4 cinemas.
  • All Art Deco features are retained, and where needed, silicon moulds were taken of existing ornate plaster to recreate more plaster for added features throughout cinemas, hallways and foyer areas.
  • All cinemas have main curtains and refurbished original style seats for a trip down memory lane to the cinema of yesteryear.
  • May 2003 - The Grand, Barkly, Trocadero and Lyric theatres are opened by Premier Steve Bracks to a cinema full of local identities, community leaders and especially noteworthy a group of folks who were Sun Theatre patrons back in 1938!
  • Dec 2006 - Davis cinema opened by a Queen (impersonator) to mark opening of The Queen.
  • Dec 26 2006 - La Scala cinema opens on boxing day and introduces 50 luxury leather couches at normal prices to an appreciative audience.
  • Easter 2007 - Hogwarts kids party room opens, completing the development plans for the Sun Theatre.