History with Brian James -Young’s Open Air Theatre

Strand Theatre when it was a hardware store, now Rivers Clothing store.
Strand Theatre when it was a hardware store, now Rivers Clothing store.

Young Witness, Tuesday 23 November 1920.

Last night was somewhat warm, and Mr. J. Kouvelis, the enterprising proprietor of the Imperial Pictures gave his patrons a treat by showing last nights programme, which was in aid of the Renwick Hospital, in the open air theatre.

A noticeable improvement and one which picture goers were not slow to appreciate was the re-arrangement of the seating accommodation.

During the winter months over 700 loads of earth have been carted into the theatre and all the back seats have been raised. The back seats are now at least six feet higher than the front which enables every person in the theatre to obtain an interrupted view of the screen.

The earth has been covered by clean creek sand and planted with couch grass, which is making good growth. The dust nuisances of last year will be now a thing of the past. 

In addition to raising the seats, these have all been rebuilt, the backs now sloping four inches more than previously, which make them very comfortable.

This improvement was also much appreciated by the picture goers. The usual high class pictures and delightful orchestra provided a most enjoyable night’s entertainment. It is the intention of the management to show pictures in the open air all through the summer, weather permitting. The open air theatre has accommodation for 1000 people.

Cootamundra Herald, Tuesday 1 May 1923.

News of Our Neighbours. Young. The Strand Theatre, which has been erected by Mr. J. Kouvelis one of the most enterprising townsmen who has ever resided here was officially opened last night by the Mayor Ald. J. Rabbets in the presence of a large audience.

Young Witness, Saturday 7 October 1922.

New Strand Theatre.

Seven contractors tendered for the new brick picture theatre to be erected at Young for Mr .J. Kouvelis. Four of the tenders were practically equal, whilst the other three were much higher. The contract which is on the original plan prepared by Messrs. Soden and Glancy, architects of Sydney will be signed this morning, and the work of demolition of the present hall will be commenced on Monday week. The new theatre is expected to be completed in five months from the signing of the contract.

Mr. Kouvelis, whist in Sydney this week, selected the  seating to be used in the new theatre, which is such that picture lovers at Young will appreciate.  It is stated by the proprietor of Imperial Pictures that the seating accommodation is of the best. There is none so expensive and comfortable either in the city or country. The gallery seats will be motor spring upholstered with padded backs whilst those on the ground floor will be spring upholstered seats.

The Burrowa News, Friday 31 July 1925.

Mr .J. Kouvelis, who recently disposed of the Strand Picture Theatre at Young to Mr. A.J. Bartle, is off for a continental jaunt with his family. He has booked passages by a big liner leaving on August 21.

Young Historical Society – Brian James.