CHAIRMAN, AUSTRALIAN CLUB ENTERTAINMENT
From the iconic Chasers, Billboard & The Metro to Silvers, Club Odeon & Trak, Jamie has been at the forefront of the industry with pioneering venue concepts, leading entertainment experiences and cultural phenomenons. Described as a temperate, unassuming workaholic, his mates and business partners who commonly know him as Jamie, read like a “who’s who” extract of the entertainment industry.
In 1978 Jamie opened Chasers on Chapel Street South Yarra - a venue inspired from a trip to the iconic Studio 54 in New York. On the opening night, Olivia Newton John was the special guest for the Australian premiere of her film Xanadu. It was the first glamour dance venue of its kind and was designed by the late Tibor Hubay. The venue was an instant success with a capacity of 1000 guests.
In 1980 Jamie and business partners Glenn Wheatley and Gary Spry opened the first upmarket live music venue, Billboard, in the heart of Melbourne. Performances by international groups Hot Chocolate, The Drifters, Eric Burdon and the Animals and national favourites Renee Geyer, Marcia Hines and John Farnham ensured its success.
In 1983 the Chevron Hotel opened on St Kilda Road with Jamie leasing the venue from well-regarded hoteliers the Kornhauser family. The five-star venue was the talk of the town and boasted the latest dance music, a piano bar and restaurant in art deco glamour. Rod Stewart, Julian Lennon and Fleetwood Mac pronounced it a favourite destination.
In 1985 Jamie together with business partners and entertainment legend Michael Gudinski, Gary Van Egmond, Frank Stivala, Glenn Wheatley and Gary Spry opened a live entertainment venue, The Palace, in St Kilda with international icon Prince and none other than John Farnham, headlining the opening.
In 1987 Jamie converted the Metro Theatre into the biggest entertainment venue in the Southern Hemisphere. Designed by Wood and Marsh it was licenced to hold 2,200 guests and spread over 3 floors. The opening was broadcast live by channel Ten with Molly Meldrum as the host - Crowded House performed with special guest Stevie Wonder.
In 1990 Silvers in Toorak was purchased by Jamie and revamped the hot spot into an upmarket restaurant, piano bar and entertainment venue. Silvers became a celebrity haunt and a firm favourite with Tom Jones, Rod Stewart and A-Listers of the like, until its re-emergence as the popular Toorak Lion Hotel in 2004. The venue has been redeveloped into the now Toorak area favourite, Jacksons Hotel.
In 1996 Lloyd Williams invited Jamie to a venue which saw Club Odeon remaining the only privately owned club at the Crown Entertainment Complex. As an Entertainment venue Club Odeon hosted fashion parades, comedy shows, international renowned artists, as well as local performers. parties for special occasions; it was the favourite destination for a galaxy of superstars including models and beauty queens, footballers, television celebrities, tennis players and grand prix drivers.
With the English style pub, Toorak Lion opening, a new market was created to attract a wide range of clientele, families, locals and sporting stars. The Lion’s phenomenal popularity attracted interest from Lend Lease Corporation who demanded a city Lion at Melbourne Central. In 2005, Jamie opened the Lion Hotel in Melbourne Central. White collar, blue collar and university students made it an extremely popular CBD destination until it’s sale in 2019.
In 2007, Jamie and business partner music gurus Michael Gudinski & Frank Stivala renovated the classic movie cinema in the Trak centre into Trak Live Lounge Bar- one of Melbourne’s biggest and best live music venues. From Kylie Minogue to Blondie, Jimmy Barnes to Marcia Hines, the biggest names in international and Australian music have played to thousands of music lovers over the years.