The art deco theatre in Manildra near Orange, Central West NSW, is a rare purpose built theatre that has been operated by the same family since it was built in 1936. Movie Theatre expert, Professor Ross Thorne, has described it as "a living icon of the importance of film and cinema in the course and pattern of NSW's cultural history".
There are only a handful of early theatres remaining in NSW and the AMUSU is an extremely rare example of of one that has operated continuously. Few, if any, cinemas possess the memorabilia and moveable heritage that is found at the AMUSU. Heritage advisor for the Cabonne area, Sue Jackson, describes the collection as a "rare treasure".
She continues - "After WW1 Allan Tom bought his first truck and bought a silent projector. When talkies came in, he adapted the arc-lamp projector sound. That projector is still there. Everything he bought or adapted is still there. It is an amazing record of the development of cinematography through the 20th century".
The theatre in Manildra is now operated by a dedicated committee, including Allan Tom's daughter Lyn. It still screens all the latest release films every third Saturda night of the month at 7.30pm. including a free supper after the movie and is available to coaches, social clubs, sporting clubs, schools etc."
Special screenings for fundraisers, social outings etc. can booked any time of the year by prior arrangement. Group bookings and concessions are available. The theatre is accessible to the disabled and is heated in the winter months.
The AMUSU Theatre still boasts the original carbon projectors, original seating including the "love seat", original flooring and curtains. Original old movie posters of yesteryear decorate the walls.
Manildra is a scenic 3.5 hr drive from Sydney over the Blue Mountains. A short 30 minite drive from Orange or Parkes.
For more information regarding prices and bookings, or to see the map, go to our contact page.