The Windsor Crystal Theatre

The Windsor Picture Palace (as it was known then) opened around 1920, in Lutwyche Road Windsor, near the corner with Le Geyt Street. A vestibule fronted Lutwyche Road. At the beginning, patrons were able to dance on a separate floor during silent film screenings. Music was played by a local violinist and pianist. Around 1924 it was renamed the Crystal Palace Theatre. Windsor and Wilston State Schools held annual fancy dress balls at the theatre during the late 1920s and 1930s.

Talking movies then came along and the theatre became a great entertainment venue for the local residents. All Hollywood’s major films were shown at Windsor. Saturday matinees were attended by the children who experienced cartoons, serials (Superman, Batman, etc) and one or two films. A snack bar was positioned under the stage, and interval created a rush by the children to purchase drinks, ice creams, lollies, etc.

The stage and screen were situated behind the front vestibule and the canvas seats covered the area sloping eastwards up to the projection room at the back. The theatre was re-vamped in 1964 and the entrance was relocated to Le Geyt Street.

The Crystal Theatre was an icon of the local area before it closed in 1999. Leading up to the closing, the theatre became famous for its continuous screening of the film “The gods must be crazy” (1467 times).

The theatre was demolished in the year 2000, the end of an era!

6 thoughts on “The Windsor Crystal Theatre”

  1. My husband’s first job was working the candy bar and putting the movies on here about 35 years ago. He remembers many a happy afternoon spent here working with his Nan especially when the Gods must be crazy was running.

  2. I was feeling nostalgic and was trying to find old houses I lived in when I was a young kiddo. I used to live on Le geyt streen when I was in primary, went to windsor state. As I was looking for my old place on google earth, I remembered “Ye olde shoppe” that was on the corner. Interestingly, as I was looking at street view, I thought ” wasn’t there a cinema there!?!” we didnt go often, in fact, I only saw two movies, The gods must be crazy and Karate kid 2…good times!
    Sure enough, gone, so I went on a search to find out what happened…and here I am.

  3. We lived in flats right on the other side of the train line, around Somerset St I think. Mid to late 1990s and used to carry our pillows over most Friday and Saturday nights. I only remember watching Casablanca but it was the best times when we were all young and life was sweet. Absolutely heartbroken when it finally closed!

  4. It’s kinda sad that the character of Le Geyt Street is being obliterated with large apartment blocks. I’ve always been curious about no. 40 (amazed it’s survived this long). The old corner shop had a very special atmosphere. I think the lolly area was a step up, towards the back, near the counter. ?

    1. Yes it is a shame, I owned number 44 for a while, had Keith Urban stay many times even bought super model Niki one year. Had lots of parties there. We moved in the week the crystal closed. I rang my neighbour one day to ask what time the train departed Windsor she laughed, she thought I was joking! I preferred the bus

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