Outback icon has new owners

The heritage-listed 1920s Corones Hotel in Charleville has been sold to ERI Partners and director Jonathon Simpson says it has plans to renovate the hotel. He says ERI has a million-dollar budget to restore the building but work will happen in stages.
Mr Simpson says ERI will also work with the University of Queensland and develop a museum on the site and there are also plans to develop a cinema.

“One of the things that we are looking at doing, and we have got to have some discussions with local government and the federal government, is redeveloping the hotel to make it a community facility,” he said. “Part of that is to bring a cinema, or two cinemas, into what is currently the Corones Hall, which for many years used to be a large dance hall for the town.”

The Corones was opened in 1929 (though the dates of 1924 & 1929 appear on the outside of the building – in fact the dates the foundations were laid and the year of opening) by Greek migrant Harry “Poppa” Corones who, with his cousin Jimmy came from the island of Kythera to seek fame and fortune in Australia. The hotel was built on the site of the Hotel Norman and cost £50,000.

Designed by W Hodgen, Corones became the hub of a glittering social scene, where guests dressed in Paris gowns, danced to the strains of imported orchestras and savoured an international cuisine prepared by the finest chefs. The guest list included Amy Johnson, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Gracie Fields, Johnnie O’Keefe, Gough Whitlam and Princess Alexandra.

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