c.1925: Theatre promoting the screening of the movie ‘Girl Shy’
The Garfield Picture Theatre was built in 1924 for Martin Donohue, and according to Mr H. Arnold, who wrote a history of the theatre, it was leased to a Mr J. Taylor. It was said to have seated 800 people, and dances were held on Friday evenings with pictures shown on Saturday nights.
The theatre was one of the many movie-viewing venues constructed during the Australia-wide boom in cinema building in the 1920s. The Garfield Picture Theatre was Cardinia Shire’s first cinema in the region, followed by Kooweerup’s Wattle Theatre and Pakenham’s King’s Picture Theatre which opened in mid to late 1927. The theatre is significant to the area as it’s one of the few picture theatre buildings remaining in the shire. The Garfield Picture Theatre was not only the main entertainment hub for the area, but it was the town’s first source of electricity.
c.1930: Theatre closed for extensions and reopening on 19th March
The theatre closed in 1962 and reopened in the 1980s as the Garfield Trading Centre, owned by Sam Jensen, who used to sell used furniture, bric-a-brac and antiques.
c.1980: Theatre was used to sell old furniture and antiques
The theatre stayed that way until 2001, when renovations began by current owners Fred and Susan Perez. The theatre was in need of some serious repair and improvement. Fred and Susan spent 17 years relaying and polishing the original floorboards, installing roof insulation, as well as building a commercial kitchen, inside toilets with a disable toilet, upstairs living quarters, full verandah, and drainage and decking around the whole outer edge of the theatre. As well as a lick of paint, Fred and Susan spent a great deal of time securing all her loose bricks… hence their knick name for her ‘Lucy’ for loosey bricks! Fred and Susan’s dream to return the venue to its former glory took a little longer than originally expected, but the outcome was well worth all their effort.
2017: The theatre today (Picture taken by Karen Thomson of Tynong)
The theatre is a well-preserved and gabled red brick building, with internal renovations creating a grander experience than the original. The front facade still has its original raised cement letters `Garfield Picture Theatre' and sits above a deep cantilever street verandah which extends the front of the building.
The Garfield Picture Theatre made a triumphant return as an entertainment venue on Sunday 3rd July 2016, after renovations entirely self-funded by Susan and Fred, and now hosts various music events and is a great venue for weddings, corporate events and dances. The theatre now seats 250 and has a lovely outside area with beautiful gardens including piano.
Current owners Fred and Susan Perez who lovingly renovated the theatre
“We both have a love for the arts and there’s a crying demand for local music venues in our region. There’s just nothing like it,“ said Fred.
In August 2018, the theatre invested in a new mixing disk, speakers and microphones along with new lights to ensure all future shows have the best sound quality and light show possible. There is talk of returning the venue back to a picture theatre for a monthly movie, but the theatre is in the process of raising funds, so stay tune!
A stocked bar serves drinks before, during and after most performances with a light supper served during intervals.
Located on the Main Street in Garfield, the Theatre is close to shops and Garfield train station, making it the ideal place to stay next time you're in our area.
The Garfield Picture Theatre also have various sized cabins available for hire from one night to long-term.
For more information and pricing on cabin accommodation, please contact Sue on 0490 110 812.
Superstar - The Carpenters Songbook
“50 Years of The Carpenters” is presented by ‘Superstar - The Carpenters Songbook’. Karen Carpenter possessed the voice of an angel and provided the soundtrack to many of our lives. The Carpenters endured a string of worldwide smash hits from the late Sixties and well into the Eighties with their beautifully crafted melodic pop songs. Experience Australia’s own stunning vocalist Laura Davidson and her All-Star Band as they recreate The Carpenters’ exquisite arrangements and lush harmonies.
Leaps & Bounds - The Music of Paul Kelly
Introducing ‘Leaps and Bounds’ Australia’s premier tribute band for iconic singer-songwriter, Paul Kelly. Fronted by David Mumford, the band captures the spirit and soul of Kelly's music, bringing his beloved songs to life on stage.
Dave's passion for Kelly's music is longstanding, and he’s spent years perfecting his vocals and guitar skills to pay homage to the legendary musician. Joined by lead guitarist Danny Eddy, bassist Nick Bomba, drummer Marty Tullet, and backing vocalist/percussionist Lexie Whitwam, together they create a sound that is both authentic and engaging.
Elvis Greatest Hits 2
Two-time award winning Elvis tribute artist Sean Luke Spiteri has the voice, sharp authentic moves and the physical presence of Elvis when he was on stage, full of energy and electrifying to watch. Sean captivates his audiences with his genuine love & passion for Elvis Presley. A must for all ELVIS FANS! Relive the excitement & energy of Elvis Presley in concert as Sean creates the illusion of Elvis live on stage. Backed by a spectacular 6 piece band and brass section.
The Australian Whitney Tribute Show
The Australian Whitney Tribute Show is a must-see for fans of the legendary singer. Starring Tilarni, a tribute artist who has been praised for her uncanny resemblance to Whitney Houston and her powerful vocals, the show features all of Whitney's greatest hits, from "I Will Always Love You" to "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." Tilarni is joined by a talented cast of backup singers, dancers, and musicians, who create a truly immersive experience that will transport you back to the golden age of Whitney Houston.
If you're looking for a night of amazing music, dancing, and entertainment, then the Australian Whitney Tribute Show is the perfect event for you. Don't miss your chance to see this incredible show!
Some of our comfortable cabin style accommodation