Photos | Forty-three years of the Sutherland Civic Centre / Entertainment Centre

The Sutherland Civic Centre was dubbed "the Opera House of the southern suburbs" before its official opening by the Governor, Sir Roden Cutler, in 1976.

While the building, which has since been renamed Sutherland Entertainment Centre, may not have risen to those lofty heights, it has certainly provided a great deal of enjoyment for the community in the ensuing 43 years.

Events have ranged from balls, banquets, concerts, theatre productions, dance performances, movies and school presentations to citizenship ceremonies, political campaign launches and memorial services.

A selection of images from the Leader's photo library shows what a great community asset it has been.

Now, the venue is to undergo a $22 million renovation, which Sutherland Shire Council expects will be completed in 2022.

There was a big build-up to the opening, including a major feature in the Leader in the week before the event.

"Sutherland Shire Civic Centre, described as 'the Opera House of the southern suburbs', will be officially opened by State Governor (Sir Roden Cutler) on Saturday," the report said.

"A four-week festival of arts and crafts will follow the opening, making it the most exciting and varied program ever presented in the shire."

A crowd of about 1000 people attended the opening of the centre, which cost $2 million to build.

The 23rd Field Regiment formed a guard of honour for Sir Roden, a VC winner.

Council president Michael Tynan said plans were made for the centre in 1969 and it was hoped to open it in 1970, but the project had taken six years to come to fruition.

The auditorium seated 990 people, of which 510 were removable seats so that balls, banquets and similar functions could be held.

Cr Tynan predicted "a striking sculpture" at the entrance, which was "a highly original work of art", would spark controversy.

"Because the council has selected a design that is daringly different, people from far and wide will discuss it and talk about Sutherland and its magnificent Civic Centre," he said.

LEADER FLASHBACK

Every Friday we delve into the Leader archives to embark on some time travel.

We will bring you photographs of a news event from 59 years of Leader news coverage that you may or may not recall.

Flashback Friday submissions are also welcomed.

Feel free to share your recollections with us on our Facebook page @SutherlandShireStGeorgeNews or email leaderletters@fairfaxmedia.com.au