Empire Hall 33 x 33cm, oil, 2017. Private Commission.
The Lahood “Amusement Parlour & Snooker Room” was in operation
and run by the same family for almost 100 years. It closed in 1999.
If not for the modern cars in the street below, you would be taken back
to the early 20th century in suburban Sydney. Many of the surrounding
buildings pre-date World War One and the facades are still relatively
untouched, and intact, if you look up.
Joseph and Rosa Lahood moved from rural Penrith in 1916 and opened
a drapery store in Campsie. Their son, Vincent, purchased billiard rooms
and a picture theatre in Beamish Street around 1924.
The theatre, which had vaudeville performances as well as film screenings
was named the Prince’s Theatre to honour the visit in of the Prince of Wales
to Sydney, but was commonly known as the Princess Theatre.
The billiard rooms moved across the street in 1924 and was described as being the longest running business
in Campsie by the areas Bi-centennial history in 1988. The Lahood sign (embedded in the tuck-pointed brickwork)
still appears proudly above the shop awnings today.