IT’S been a while since we’ve run one of these but we never get sick of the sight (and story) of the Ozone Hotel.
Just in case you don’t know the story, here goes:
The building was one of the most ornate and magnificent Warrnambool has ever seen and it stood on the corner of Kepler and Koroit Street on the spot now home to the Hotel Warrnambool.
Originally known as the Ozone Coffee Palace, it was built in 1890 but within 20 years was struggling financially. It closed in 1915, but reopened in 1920 as part of the Hotel Mansions which incorporated a movie theatre and dance hall.
At 1.45am on February 23, 1929, a fire started in the dance hall (now the site of the Capitol Cinema).
Legend has it the owner of the dance hall had sacked the regular orchestra and bought a new gramophone to entertain dancers.
Unfortunately the record player, which rested against a wall, caught fire and the blaze rapidly spread from the dance hall and into the Ozone Hotel next door.
The moral of the story? Always book a live band.