Moving pictures were first introduced to NSW in 1910. By the '30s, movie theatres were dotted all over the state as they became the most popular and cheapest way to spend a night out. The Roxy was built in 1930 and remains one of the finest examples of its kind in Australia. Some locals still remember watching boxing matches back in the day, and standing up while the organist chopped into 'God Save the Queen' before sitting down to watch a film. In 2002, it finally closed its doors until it was reopened as a mega bar (sorry – entertainment complex).
It feels like a Spanish Mission in California picked up and placed in Parramatta. The huge, white sun blocking picture palace is a heritage building and though they've kept all the original interiors, they now utilise the space as a dance hall. With its beautiful, mission-style towers and hulking frame with stucco walls, arches and false balconies, this is a jewel in the generally low rise of Parramatta.
Expect schnitzel nights, and trivia as well as plenty of local gigs here (Radio Birdman have made appearances, as have Rocket Science). It's a bit of a Parra hotspot and sitting in the shade under the huge Kentia palms on a warm summer's afternoon is about as good as it gets.
It's a bit limited in terms of drinking (beers and mixers) but their beer is cold and on a hot afternoon that's about all that matters. You may have to attend the Westfield Event Cinemas for the flicks these days but there's no reason not to enjoy the Roxy's former glory in a new guise.