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Estonian House, Formerly the Western Theatre

North | N04

Estonian House is currently the cultural centre for the Estonian community in Melbourne. Estonian House started its life as the Great Western Theatre in 1928. It had some interesting variations for its time, the most notable being its arch-shaped entrance and a distinctive curved roof instead of the predominantly slanted design. Because of its elevated position it was (and still is) a large landmark, and as such it was used as an advertising billboard that was easily seen at the nearby Moonee Valley Racecourse. As a Greater Union theatre, it opened without fanfare sometime early in 1928. The showing of movies continued until the late 1950s when television drained attendance, and on 28 May 1960 the last picture was screened. The Great Western was then used as a vast store for the New England Loading Equipment Company before reverting to a theatre. It was known as the Marco Polo, and screened (mainly) Italian Films. It was acquired by the Estonian community in 1970 and opened as Estonian House in 1972. Today it is a community hall for functions, regular rehearsals for choirs and folk dancing groups, and meetings for those interested in traditional arts, crafts and language classes.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 1 January 12pm-4pm - Booking required for this building

  • What's Open: Main Hall, First Floor lobby, Balcony, executive suites, stage

  • Tour Type: N04

  • Tour Details: First release Friday 13 July 8.30 am until booked out, second release Friday 20 July 8.30 am until booked out, small booking fee applies. Tours at 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm running for 30 minutes, in groups of 12

  • Access: Pram accessible, Limited mobility

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Facilities: Toilets

  • Year Built: 1928

  • Transport: Stop 35: Victoria St/Melville Rd on routes 55.


43 Melville Road, Brunswick West 3055, VIC


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