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1983

Watch: Sydney Ent Centre Opening (1983)

The opening of something big in Sydney was something to be seen.

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Think about any concert, sports event or theatre performance you may have attended in your life. Now where did you attend it at? Chances are it may have been at the Sydney Entertainment Centre (or at least, a part of a tour you saw would have performed there).

Smack bang in the heart of Darling Harbour, Sydney, construction began in 1979 to build a 13,000 seat arena to host a variety of entertainment from local to overseas talent. The venue was completed in 1983, and was celebrated with a telecast grand opening hosted by Mike Walsh and Bert Newton. Many varieties of talent showed their skills such as Marcia Hines, Daryl Braithwaite, The Sydney International Orchestra, Richard Simmons, Peter Allen, John Denver and Paul Hogan.

The Grand Opening was broadcast on Channel 9, and simulcast on 2DAY FM Sydney and FOX FM Melbourne, the guests of honour was the NSW Premier Neville Wran, and Channel 9 owner Kerry Packer.

So, if you have a spare 2 and 1/2 hours, enjoy Peter Allen having a gay ol’ time, Paul Hogan having a cheeky ribbing at his boss, Molly Meldrum be ‘Molly’, an all new laser light display, Wendy Stapleton belting out a rendition of Eye Of The Tiger, John Denver charming the crowd with his country vocal tunes, and some guy looking for a cigarette and scratch his testicles. (No, not telling you where that happens…).

Sadly, the arena was pulled down in 2016 in order to re-develop Darling Harbour, while the building next door – the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre – was renovated and extended to compensate.

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