Bondi Pavilion

Bondi Pavilion

The Bondi Pavilion in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, is an outstanding beach cultural icon of Australia, together with the beach, park and surf lifesaving club. The structure is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register 01786 as well as by Waverley Council. The building has also been listed by the Heritage Council.[1] According to the National Trust it “has come to represent the Australian culture of beach bathing and outdoors living”.The pavilion was constructed in 1928-29, and is managed by Waverley Council.

The Bondi Pavilion was well utilised for about two decades after its opening. During the war the first floor, where the Esplanade Cabaret had been, was requisitioned by the American Red Cross and the U.S. military to become an officers’ club until the end of the war. After the war, dances were organised at the pavilion, and the proceeds went to disadvantaged Australian returned soldiers. In 1948 the pavilion obtained a liquor licence.

By the mid-1950s utilisation of the pavilion had begun to decline, as changes in bathing costumes from heavy material to nylon reduced the need for changing rooms. In 1955 the council reported a substantial operating loss for the building. During the 1950s and 1960s the ground floor refreshment rooms were still in use and operated by lessees; however, the main hall and auditorium were rarely used. In an attempt to increase community participation, a theatre was opened in 1975 by Gough Whitlam. In 1977 and 1978 the changing rooms, lockers, former Turkish baths and courtyard were demolished. In their place a new netball court, an art gallery, a gymnasium and an amphitheatre were constructed. In 1978 the building was officially reopened as the Bondi Surf Pavilion Community Centre.