Star Theatre

Main Image

Opening on September 28th, 1922 (Show Day!) the main attraction at the the Star Picture Theatre was Douglas Fairbanks in 'The Mark of Zorro',complete with 'Full Orchestra', which was a regular occurrence during the era of silent films.

Prior to this, films had been shown in the Shire Hall which was on the corner of High Street and Gower Street. Operating as the Star Theatre Company, W.E. and W.H. Edmonds, flushed with the success of these shows, bought a site in High Street on the opposite corner but on the same side (where Snap Printing currently operates).

Seat prices were 9d., 1s 0d., 1s 7d., 2s 0d., including tax. Seats could be booked for the extra charge of 6d. The Star was refurbished and re-opened in 1935 for the Jubilee, with advertising calling it The New Star. Its seating capacity was 990. In 1942, it had another name change to the St. James, still operating at the same address, 346 High Street Preston. A second cinema was opened in Plenty Road, called the Gowerville, but during the depression of the late 1920s, Preston could not support two cinemas, and so the Gowerville was closed in 1930.

From the late 1930s, motion pictures again were prosperous and other cinemas opened up, but once television began to appear from 1956 onwards, cinemas gradually closed down. The Star then the St James continued to operate until 1965. The Planet at 1 High Street was operated by the same company.

Carroll, Brian & Rule, Ian (1985). Preston: an Illustrated History. Preston: City of Preston.

Cinema & Theatre Historical Society Inc.

Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. [Microfiche]. (1974). Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.