A map illustrates the first section of the planned Warringah Expressway from the Sydney Harbour Bridge through North Sydney. It is designed to reduce traffic on the streets of the northern suburbs. A San Francisco engineering consulting firm prepares specifications for the expressway. Nine million dollars is spent acquiring land for the 500 buildings demolished to make way for the expressway. Buildings demolished include North Sydney landmarks such as the North Sydney Orpheum Theatre. Enough demolition was carried out by mid-1964 that preliminary construction could commence.
Absent from this clip is the human impact of compulsory acquisition and relocation of residents and businesses from buildings in the expressway’s path. Instead, scenes of demolition are accompanied by jaunty music and the narration stresses the large proportion of the budget ($9 million) allocated to purchasing private property.
The North Sydney Orpheum – the blue corner building seen prior to demolition, and then from its partly-demolished interior – was just one of the landmarks demolished to make way for the expressway. The Orpheum was built in 1913 and run by the Virgona family who also opened the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Cremorne in 1935, which is still operating after more than 75 years.