Topic: Sylvana Hall

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One of Rotorua's forgotten halls 1930s to 1961

Excerpt from The Daily Post 11 February 1978, page one.

This hall was built behind the Silvana Shop (a general store and milk bar) on the corner of Wylie and Ranolf Streets in the 1930s, opposite the Municipal campground, and was to be Rotorua's 1st nightclub, but, it never really got off the ground. A spacious dance hall, with sprung floor, cafeterias, cloak rooms, murals and fittings. The builders were C.R. Lloyd and Roy Quinlan.

The Aislabie family owned the store from 1945 to the mid 1960s and serviced the campers at the Municipal Campground that extended from Ranolf Street towards Old Taupo Road and was bounded by Devon Street and Sophia Street.  An earlier proprietor of the store was William Higson with his wife Dorothy c1941-.  Mr J Aislabie recalled that trading was 'pretty good' when the camp was operating, we used to have a petrol bowser and behind the shop a miniature golf course. Aislabie's took over the shop from people called Boyce, and lived in the 3-storey house attached to the shop. At one stage the hall was used by the Rotorua Printers as a factory.

The shop used to feature on the fun maps which were produced to tell tourists of the attractions round Rotorua.

The hall was demolished in 1961, but the Silvana Shop was still there at that site until it was demolished in 1978 by the new owners of the site who built their new home on it.  While demolishing the attached house, an interior wall was removed to reveal severe fire damage, the fire is reputed to have happened in 1929 or 1930 and the "blokes had to bring the water down from Ranolf Street" said retired Fireman Mr W.R. Norman. The shop and house were made of stucco and kauri piles.

Also found in the demolition process was a rent book dating back to December 1924, with a signature that appeared to be E.A. Seddon or Severn Johnson.

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Sylvana Hall


38 Wylie Street, Glenholme, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Latitude and Longitude coordinates: -38.1546869,176.24722429999997

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