The Hub

069942The former Hub site on King Street0873707-13 Bedford Street Newtown

Originally the site of Edward Coles’ Newtown Hippodrome in 1908. Clay’s Bridge Theatre was built in 1913. Theatre impresario Harry Clay provided Newtown’s only live vaudeville venue in the early 20th century. Clay’s theatre was converted into a cinema in 1934. The Hub previously operated in Marcus Clarke’s Cash Store building at 218-222 King Street from the 1920s. The Cash Store used the slogan ‘The Hub of Newtown’. Broadway Theatre Company Theatre transferred to the Bedford Street site, continuing with the name. A second Hub (Hub 2) at Victoria Theatre operated in Erskineville Road until 1950.

In the 1950s and ’60s, non-English-language films were screened to cater to Newtown’s large migrant population, and it was briefly the home of the Sydney Film Festival. In the early seventies The Hub became an insalubrious and infamous ‘blue movie house’. It closed in the mid-1990s, and with the exception of a few minor commercial uses (storage, second hand book sales) and a couple of live stage shows, had been vacant since. Although recently refitted, the site remains closed in 2016.


Robert Parkinson Picture Shows in the Marrickville and Newtown Districts 1898-2012

Gritty Newtown

Theatre lost

Elizabethan Theatre, which had housed the Australian Opera during the construction of Utzon’s Sydney Opera House, destroyed by fire.

Demolition of Mary Reiby’s house

1962: Mary Reibey’s house is demolished for inexpensive flats.

South Sydney Council

Part of Newtown under Marrickville Council; South Sydney Council formed.

End of Newtown Council

1949: Newtown is incorporated into the City of Sydney.

Population decline

1947: The population of the municipality declines to 24933 people.

First woman Mayor

1938: Lilian Fowler is Newtown’s and Australia’s first woman Mayor.

Town Hall update

1935: Additions are made to facade of Town hall.

Declining population

1933: The population of the municipality declines to 25290 people.

Premiership to Newtown

1933: Newtown Rugby League Club wins premiership.