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Venue Name : Toorak Drive-in/ Village Drive-in, Toorak

Event Date Name Address Suburb State Postcode Latitude Longitude Capacity Suburban Purpose Screens Operation Dates Roles
1956-11-08 Toorak Drive-in Toorak Road East Hawthorn Victoria 3123 -37.8448499 145.0405284 680 Suburb Drive In 1
1956-11-08 - 1983-01-01
1956-11-08 - 1965-01-01 : Exhibitor : Novelty Fair Theatres Pty Ltd
1966-01-01 - 1983-01-01 : Exhibitor :
1961-01-01 650
1969-01-01 634
Summary Toorak Drive-in Toorak Road East Hawthorn Victoria 3123 -37.8448499 145.0405284 634 Suburb Drive In 1  
Venue Comments :

"Located on top of a hill on part of the former brickworks site, nobody who drove up Toorak Road could miss the screen towering over inner Eastern Melbourne. It was an icon for almost 30 years. Originally opened as an independent drive-in, the owner died in the mid-1960's. The drive-in was bought by Hoyts and Village. This was the first of several drive-ins and hardtops that were jointly operated by the two companies over the years. It was advertised as a Village drive-in in their newspaper directories from 1966, yet was staffed and operated by Hoyts! Hoyts staff were not allowed to display the Hoyts logo on uniforms etc.

Although run by Hoyts, Toorak ran Village product so it would not directly compete with the Hoyts Skyline drive-in just down the road. When most drive-ins ran just one big session each evening, Toorak still advertised two sessions nightly (this was possible prior to daylight saving). This suggests that business at Toorak was brisk if another few hundred cars were willing to see a show at 10.00pm - late for the 1950's and 1960's. The pressure to realise the enormous value of the land became too great the moment the business started to slide. The land was snapped up by one of Australias largest companies, Coles-Myer. Today the headquarters of this company, known as Battlestar Gallactica due to its dark and ominous design, occupies the entire site. The former drive-in entrance driveway has been used as parking for years and amazingly has not been asphalted over. When the drive-in closed, an elderly resident who lived across the road was asked for her comment "if only it had run matinee's, it might still be in business"!" (Kilderry 1999)

References
Film Weekly, Film Weekly: motion picture directory, Film Weekly, Sydney. 1957/8-1971

Kilderry, D. 1999 'Australian drive-ins', Drive-ins Downunder, Available at: http://www.drive-insdownunder.com.au/australian/vic_toorak.htm

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