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‘Sad time’: Much-loved Melbourne market closes after 55 years

“Whilst no immediate plans are in place to replace the market lands, they do form part of a 500-acre future masterplan.

“Although this is a hard decision and a sad time we must celebrate the market’s achievement and thank each and every customer, stall-holder, visitor and staff for their partnership and for making Caribbean Market the icon it became.”

The market, which opened in 1965 and is owned by the wealthy Spooner family, has been visited by 40 million visitors since its establishment, according to its owners.

A 2013 report stated the market sold pirated DVDs.

A 2013 report stated the market sold pirated DVDs.Credit:Penny Stephens

It included a market that sold a variety of unique products and amusements aimed at children including a mini-golf course, a train around its perimeter, a jungle boat ride around Lake Caribbean and a chair lift.

A 2013 report by the Motion Picture Association of America identified Caribbean Gardens as one of the most notorious hotspots for the sale of pirated DVDs. The report said the market had between 10 and 20 individual market sellers “offering counterfeit region one and two DVDs, together with other sellers offering burnt DVDs of recently released titles”.

The site, nestled between Stud Road in the east, Ferntree Gully Road in the north and the EastLink freeway in the west, was originally used by a handful of stall-holders selling from their car boots and for water ski shows on the lake.

More recently, it had more than 1000 stallholders and thousands poured through the eye-catching front gates on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

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