The Sun originally opened in 1938 and was a single screen 1050 seat cinema – the most luxurious in the area. Most Saturday’s were fully booked at the Sun; both a booking office and ticket counter were used to handle the large crowds. Today’s SUN BOOKSHOP was the original candy bar. Imagine the buzz on a Saturday night which regularly sold out and 1050 patrons were in the foyer. Today we seat only several hundred over 8 boutique cinemas, but, we still think our foyer gets mighty busy. Unique to the cinema was the pram room where babies in their prams were placed and given a number, if your baby started crying, your number was flashed on the screen.

During the 50’s and 60’s TV was the new novelty and the crowds dwindled. To satisfy the new population in Yarraville the SUN became a Greek cinema in the 60’s. It was eventually closed by the Health department for unsanitary carpets! The SUN became derelict over the next twenty years until the current owners purchased it in 1995. It was in a sad state, a mecca for white ants and a roof so leaky, the plaster ceiling had caved in on the seats. Vagrants had been at it too, with squatters lighting fires to keep warm, graffiti and needles a plenty, while pilfering of much of the original art deco features had reduced her to little more than 4 brick walls.

The new owners began one of Melbourne’s most popular film societies from 1998 to 2003 which encouraged them to go all out and bring the SUN back to glory. The large auditorium has been carefully and respectfully divided into 4 cinemas and another 4 cinemas have been added over several years to some land at the rear, the side and even above. Eight stunning cinemas, all detailed in an art deco style, many with original details are now open to the public and screening the latest new release films from Hollywood, Australia and art films from around the world.


Historical Significance

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