Loretto Thurgood

Loretto Thurgood was born in Newtown in 1919 and grew up there and in adjacent Erskineville. Her father was a painter and her mother took care of the house and family. In the excerpt below she recalls Newtown theatres and entertainment.

St George’s Hall or Newtown Town Hall, and the picture shows, which was the old ‘Hub’, which, before it was converted to pictures, was a vaudeville theatre. And then there was the Enmore Theatre which is up in Enmore Road, which is now used – they’ve had ‘Wogarama’ [1990s stage show]. There was the Majestic Theatre on the corner of Wilson Street and Erskineville Road which turned out to be [became] the Elizabethan Theatre and then got burnt down. We used to go to shows there. Sometimes my mother’d take us and I remember Stiffy and Mo – Roy Rene – and I remember George Edwards, not Edwards, George with the big funny eyes – I forget what his name was [probably George Wallace, Australian comedian]. I know that my aunt won a Black Bottom [dance craze] contest at The Hub one time. That was when the Charleston was coming out. She made herself this costume out of black satin and with all black spangles on it and a top hat, and it was like a small adaptation of a dinner suit with the tails and all, and she won the prize. Then she came out in a frilly dress, did the Charleston and won that prize, so she was very, very good. And the Tivoli, we used to always go to the pantomimes at the Tivoli. Mum used to save up for those.

Sue Rosen