Hollywood Hotel, Surry Hills

Hollywood Hotel Surry Hills Sydney 1949 anu

Hollywood Hotel, Foster Street Surry Hills 1950. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

hollywood hotel sydney 1954

Drinking in the bar of the Hollywood Hotel , Foster Street.

Women favor later hours if they can drink in bars


Many Sydney women said this week they would vote for later hotel closing hours if they could share hotel facilities fully with their menfolk. A majority of those who at present are opposed to later closing hours said their opposition arose from fear that their menfolk would tarry over-long at the bars from which women are at present almost totally excluded.

They took the view that if they could join their menfolk at bars, they would welcome 10pm closing. They pointed out that in England and almost every other part of the world women were able to drink in bars with their husbands. It was strongly argued that the Government should take from licensees their discretionary power to exclude women from bars. Women interviewed said that, apart from the angle of segregation, there was the fact that at present women, almost without exception, were compelled to drink in lounges or beer gardens at prices up to 25 per cent higher than bar prices.

10pm closing favored

omen also made a strong case for making hotels (including their bars) more attractive. Some women interviewed were standing with their husbands at the bars of the comparatively few hotels where licensees allow “mixed drinking”.

A senior official of the New South Wales Housewives’ Association (organising secretary Mrs. D. Lawson) said she favored 10pm closing and mixed drinking. She said: “Women should have unrestricted use of all parts of the hotel including the bars.

“With later closing and no ban on women drinking with their husbands, the entire aspect of hotel drinking would change.

“From what I have seen m England and in Europe, it would be better both for the man and woman.

“We have got out of the stage when hotel bar drinking is all right for men, but taboo for women.”

Mrs. Lawson added that publicans should provide facilities for children who would go to hotels with their parents.

Drink with husbands

At the Newcastle Hotel, George Street [Sydney], which pioneered mixed bar drinking, Mrs G. McLeod, of Stafford Street, Double Bay said: “Women should have a drink at the bar with their husbands.

“If they could do that many of them would change any opposition they might have to later hotel trading.”

Another customer at the Newcastle, Miss Mary Bate, 24, of McPherson Street, Waverley, was with her fiance Lance Joinson, 25. Miss Bate said: “We’re both going to vote for later closing because we know the enjoyment we’ll get out of having a drink together at night.

“A lot of women I know feel the same way.

“But we do want to make sure that if we get longer hotel hours we won’t be segregated in the dingy parlors or lounges in some suburban hotels.”

Licensee George Moore said: “If hours are extended and women can drink at the bars with their husbands or menfolk, it will change the whole atmosphere of hotels.

“I know that from the way my hotel has become such a pleasant place since I allowed women to drink at the bars.”

In a bar at Belfield’s Hotel, King Street [Sydney], where women are allowed to drink, two women said they would “definitely vote for “10pm closing”. One of the women, both of whom said they ran their own businesses — said: “If we get longer trading hours, the State Government should legislate to allow women to drink in any part of hotels.”

At the Hollywood Hotel in Foster Street [Surry Hills], many office and shop girls were drinking with male companions in a modern well-fitted cocktail-type bar.

One girl, Miss Joanne Reynolds, 19 of Bridge Road, Glebe, said: “My boy friend and I are looking forward to later closing if we can relax together in a hotel after work.

“He has often said that an evening in a nice suburban hotel with an orchestra or something, would be much cheaper and better than a night-club.”

-Daily Telegraph, Sunday 29 August 1954.

Categories: Sydney hotels

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