Photos favorited by film

  • <p>Original 1925 decoration now hidden behind the 1941 proscenium, March 2011</p>
  • <p>Hoyts Empress 217 Chapel Street, Prahran VIC</p>
              <p>OPENING ADVERT Prahran Telegraph Vic Saturday 24 May 1913, page 5.</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Barclay Theatre 681 George Street, Sydney, NSW</p>
              <p>Photo - State Library NSW 1962</p>
              <p>The Guns of Navarone is screening at the Barclay - This is a 1961 epic adventure war film directed by J. Lee Thompson from a screenplay by Carl Foreman, based on Alistair MacLean’s 1957 novel.</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Lyric Theatre 47 Eighth Avenue, Maylands, WA - The image on this page is a re-creation of the Lyric theatre as this writer remembers it.</p>
              <p>Statement of Heritage Significance *“The Lyric Theatre Maylands” is important for its association with cinema, by far the most popular form of entertainment in the early twentieth century, which provided entertainment to the people of Maylands and surrounds for more than 38 years.</p>
              <p>*The Lyric was the heart of the community. More people would pass through the Lyric than any other building in Maylands. By the 1940’s cinema had come of age. It was a time when most of the population went to the movies, at least once, sometimes twice a week.</p>
              <p>Architecture – “The Lyric Theatre” Maylands is an early and intact example of an important cinema building, constructed during a decade of unprecedented growth in the Motion Picture industry. The facade of the building is two storied in height, with stucco ornamentation in the Classical style. The upper storey, (five) windows are round headed, with modest archivolts suspended by slender columns. The balcony balustrading and stairway is still intact. The fibrous plaster paneled ceilings, and the ornate columned square proscenium, provide a unique architectural picture frame, with traces of staggered Roman / Greek decorative influence. The theatre seated 1000 people.</p>
              <p>*If any building in Maylands has a story to tell it’s the Lyric Theatre. The struggle to stay open during the Great Depression comes to mind, when in desperation management introduced Roller Skating, Dancing and Cabaret to supplement the movies.</p>
              <p>*During World War Two “The Lyric Theatre” was the center of many loan rally functions. These were held by “The Maylands War Loan Committee” which encouraged Australians to invest in war bonds. Substantial funds were collected on these occasions..</p>
              <p>*MAYLANDS. ANZAC ENTERTAINMENT – During the war years and after “The Maylands Sub Branch of the Returned Soldiers” held numerous functions at “The Lyric”. While the theatre was often used as a fitting termination to the solemnities of Anzac Day.</p>
              <p>*The Lyric Maylands is significant for its association with Herb Robinson who operated a number of companies and cinemas in Maylands, and who will be remembered as one of the “Fathers of the West Australian Cinema Industry”. The story of Herb Robinson is one of achievement. Born in Perth April 9, 1909 to Mary Ellen and Richard Herbert Robinson. His father was killed in action in France when he was only eight years old. in April 1918 Robinson attended St Patrick’s Boys' School, and after leaving school worked as a clerk for the W A Government Railways. In 1933 he and his sister opened the Roxy Gardens, Maylands. The following year they took over the nearby “Lyric Theatre”, also in Maylands. Uniquely remaining owners of both theatres until their eventual closure in the early 1960s because of the inroads of television. On 16 July 1940 Robinson enlisted in the Australian Army during World War II, serving with the 5th Australian Infantry Troops. Then on 8 August 1942 he married Annie Mary Eluned Morgan, resulting in two daughters. Robinson was discharged from the army on 12 December 1945. He was elected to the Perth Road Board in 1951, and from 1959 to 1961 served as its chairman. Robinson also served as president of the Motion Picture Exhibitors' Association of WA, from 1951 to 1956. When the Perth Road Board became the Shire of Perth in 1961 Robinson was elected to shire president, serving in the position until he left the council in 1963.</p>
              <p>*Political career – Herb Robinson was elected to the Legislative Council in 1962, representing the three-member Suburban Province. Robinson was a Justice of the Peace from 1951 till 1985. In retirement he moved to Canberra, passing away in July 1990 at the age of 81. – Vale H. R. (Herb) Robinson. Footnote: The Robinson family were hands on theatre owners and show people. Most Saturday nights you would find a member of the family at either the Roxy or the Lyric acting as welcoming hosts in the old style, by positioning themselves at the theatre entrance door, and then fare welling the patrons as they departed.</p>
              <p>*OPINION – “The Lyric Theatre Maylands” can never be replaced, and it is important that every member of the Maylands community rally to protect the cultural memory of this heritage structure. Potentially “The Lyric Theatre” could be restored to it’s original glory. The size and location of the building would make an excellent Community Arts Center – Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Regal Theatre Camberwell Road and Toorak Road, Hartwell, VIC.</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>The Liberty Theatre Pitt Street Sydney was opened on 31st March 1934 with Margaret Sullavan in “Only Yesterday”</p>
              <h1>The Liberty Theatre</h1>
              <p>Bruce C. Dellit designed the Liberty Theatre for impresario David N. Martin on the site of the Rialto Theatre (former Grand Theatre) on Pitt Street. The Liberty Theatre was opened on 31st March 1934 with Margaret Sullavan in “Only Yesterday”. The original press release praised the simple Art Deco style, “the magnificent glitter of glass panelling &diffused wall lighting with ceramic dyes gives the theatre a rich yet restrained atmosphere”. Décor featured sculptures and relief wall panels by Raynor Hoff. Seating was provided for 401 in the stalls and 252 in the circle.</p>
              <p>Taken over by MGM in July 1937, the Liberty Theatre became MGMs counterpart to Hoyts Century Theatre with an emphasis on women’s films but in May, 1953, it was chosen for the world premiere of Marlon Brando in “Julius Caesar”.</p>
              <p>While it was not ideal for widescreen films it still advertised a “big panoramic screen” and new waterfall curtains helped maximize the screen size. The Liberty Theatre was taken over by Greater Union Theatres in the early-1970s. It was closed on 30th January 1975, and the 3-screen Greater Union Pitt Centre was built on the site - Original notes by John Gleeson</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Plaza Theatre 318 Station Street Chelsea, VIC - On The Beach 1959.</p>
              <p>Description - The coming attractions billboard for the PLAZA Chelsea can be seen in the back-ground at Frankston Railway station. The photo features - Gregory Peck & Ava Gardner in a scene from the United Artists movie “ON THE BEACH”</p>
              <p>Plaza Theatre - Located in the south-east Melbourne beach community of Chelsea. Originally on this site prior to 1923 operated the Open Air Picture Theatre. It was demolished in 1923, and the Victory De Luxe Theatre was built and opened.</p>
              <p>The Victory De Luxe Theatre operated until 1935. It was re-opened in 1938 as the Plaza Theatre and continued as a cinema until closing in 1988.</p>
              <p>It was converted into a bingo club, which continued into the mid-2000’s. In 2010 the building is in use as a children’s play centre. - Ken Roe</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Magnificence Lost !</p>
              <p>As reported in “The West Australian” (Perth, WA ) Wed 1 May 1929</p>
              <p>CAPITOL THEATRE PERTH - ULTRA-MODERN STRUCTURE – Opening Next Saturday.</p>
              <p>Like a mighty cyclops, the Capitol Theatre has reared its head in massive splendour among the giants of the city, and nightly its powerful eye flashes a message for miles: It now rests resplendent, an imposing spectacle, while an army of minions make busy about it, decking it gaily for its first public function on Saturday next. Dionysius has bestowed on Perth a bountiful birthday gift.</p>
              <p>Electric Installations – Infinite pains were taken to make the lighting of the theatre one of its most attractive features. The installations were under the control of Mr. G. Mitchell, who has had a wide experience of the various phases of theatrical work in America, the Continent, and the Eastern States.</p>
              <p>The lighting of the auditorium has been carried out primarily in red, blue, amber and green, all of the colours being operated by a Dimmer Bank machine, by which they can be merged imperceptibly to give the effects of sunrise, sunset, or moonlight, as desired. It took 74 miles of wire to complete the scheme, and 12,000 lamps were installed – Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Plaza Cinema 405 High Street, Northcote VIC - Souvenir program June 7, 1959 - In memory of Nicky.</p>
              <p>Description - Souvenir program of a concert in memory of Clifford Nicholls “Nicky” Whitta, organised three years after his death by his former Sat afternoon group “The Junior Stars of the Air”. The show featured Joff Ellen / Nancy Lee / George Foster / Annette Klooger / Bob Horsefall / Shirley Radford / Des Lavelle & Alan Eaton.</p>
              <p>PROGRAM PHOTO - From the book by Nancy Lee “Being a Chum Was Fun”</p>
              <p>Mini BIO - Clifford Nicholls “Nicky” Whitta (Born 24 September 1903 - Died 8 September 1956) was a popular Australian radio personality. He is credited with being a mentor to Graham Kennedy during his early career. At his best while at Radio 3UZ he drew an incredible 73% of the ratings of Melbourne radio</p>
              <p>Popularity *</p>
              <p>The popularity of Nicky at the time of his death was such that it prompted a large spontaneous tribute by his fans, when an estimated 150 thousand Melburnians lined the city streets after his funeral to watch the procession travel the 12-mile journey from the church to the crematorium. Nicky died at his home in Darebin from a coronary occlusion. It was reported that he had just driven his wife and two sons back from Warburton before complaining of feeling ill. He died shortly after his wife phoned for a doctor - VALE Clifford Nicholls “Nicky” Whitta much loved radio star of the Golden Era.</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <h1>Hoyts New Malvern Theatre  1 Glenferrie Road, Melbourne, VIC - Hoyts usher lapel pin.</h1>
              <p>Comment from: - Rodney McGregor, a former usher who worked at the Hoyts theatre Malvern during the final months of its operation..</p>
              <p>Quote - Greg I happened across the photos you contributed to Cinema Treasures of the Hoyts New Malvern Theatre in Glenferrie Road Malvern.
              I was working there in its final months and weeks as a young boy, and chose (when offered) not to make the move to the brand new “Multiplex” at Chadstone.</p>
              <p>I have fond memories of working there and lighting the foot-warmer furnace underneath the seats (dodgy and dangerous) I still have my Hoyts lapel pin (pictured) and even some really old Pass Out cards that I found under the staircase at the back of the staff change closet. The front of house manager at that time was a dear lady named Roma.</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Menora Theatre 340 Walcott Street, Menora, WA - Opening night 1954</p>
              <p>PHOTO - Courtesy of the Machlin family</p>
              <p>Description - The photos of the Machlin ladies were taken on the opening night of the Menora Theatre. (May 20, 1954) They are, from left to right:  Jeannette (wife of Amos), Shirley (first wife of Jack) and Esther (wife of Abraham).</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Moonee Theatre 1921 - Alf Daff rose from assistant projectionist at the Moonee Theatre (Melbourne Australia) to President of Universal International Films & Director of Sales head quartered in Hollywood. He was the most successful Australian film executive of our time.</p>
              <p>The Argus (Melbourne, Vic ) Fri 11 Jul 1952 wrote</p>
              <p>A North Melbourne boy is fast becoming a legend, in a world where legends make millions of dollars a year DAFF AIMED AT THE MOON-AND HIT IT -</p>
              <p>Just 30 years ago, a 20-year-old North Melbourne lad worked in the booking department of Universal Films, in an office in Bourke St: over Watkins, the butchers. In the evenings, Alf worked as assistant projectionist at the Moonee Ponds theatre. One night, the film caught fire, the audience panicked, and Alf, trying to smother the flames, was so badly burnt that his hands and arms bear scars to this day.Today, he is probably the highest paid Australian alive and, in his own way, is one of the most important. His name is Alf Daff.</p>
              <p>His story, if it needed a title, could borrow one from that old Scottish song, “I Know Where I’m Going.” I first met Alf Daff in those 30-years-ago days. He was in his shirt sleeves, carrying cans of film behind a counter. Metaphorically, he’s been in his shirt sleeves ever since; he’s a worker; he never stops working. Literally, he is the same, too: good-looking in a rather fierce way, genial, well-groomed, persuasive. In a way, only his job has changed. He is still working for Universal. But today he is president . of Universal International Films, and Director of World Sales, and one of the board of directors of the great parent company, Universal Pictures Incorporated. He got his boost to the board on May 15 last.</p>
              <p>Whatever way you look at it, that’s good going for a local boy. Daff is just that: a local boy who made gocd. His position is unique. No other Australian has ever taken a place on an American film company’s board of directors. No other Australian has ever achieved such a position of world importance with an overseas organisation. But, like I said.- the Daff story could be entitled “I Know Where I’m Going.”</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Façade in 1958, courtesy CATHS (Cinema and Theatre Historical Society).</p>
  • <p>Plaza Theatre 191 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC – 1963 Premier preview party for “How The West Was Won” – from “The Greg Lynch Collection” ©</p>
              <p>Description: Historic photo showing Henry Fonda & Mrs Fonda speaking to the now legendary boss of Hoyts, cigar smoking Ernest G. Turnbull. The occasion is the preview party for the 3 Strip Cinerama Epic “How The West Was Won”, held at “The Plaza Theatre” Melbourne. Henry Fonda together with James Stewart & Debbie Reynolds were one of the major stars.</p>
              <p>If you look into the background you can see the late Fred Crouch (BEF), & right at the back I suspect the gentleman in the right hand corner is Mike Walsh.?? The head behind Mrs Fonda could well be the late Gil Whelan – Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>CINEMASCOPE – The installation of CinemaScope was an exciting time, not only for the public, but for the theatre staff as well. CinemaScope was big, everything about this format was supposed to be big. The Rialto Theatre was mechanically ventilated from behind ornate plaster grills, located on either side of the original proscenium. This meant that the width of the new screen was governed, or limited by the distance between the plaster ventilation grills. Still it was a big improvement on the long standing, almost square screen. Expectations were high as work began on this major innovation. A metal tubular frame was built across the face of the existing proscenium to lace up the new Miracle Mirror screen. Then black masking was installed to frame the screen top & bottom. As this was a new wide format, movable motorized black masking was installed to cater for all known screen widths. New brown, striped curtains were hung from the tubular frame, complete with a valance to hide the curtain track. CinemaScope & 4 track Stereophonic Sound began screening at The Rialto on Thurs, 9th Nov 1954 with “ The Robe ” which starred Richard Burton & Jean Simmons.</p>
              <p>Trouble – Right from day one there was trouble with the stereophonic sound. To explain, there are three large speakers set up behind the screen (left, right & center) while additional speakers are located on the side walls, known as AP’s (Audience participation speakers) In the case of the Rialto, Hoyts had chosen to install RCA magnetic heads & sound rack. For the time this writer worked at The Rialto, the AP’s worked twice. Each time was a wonderful thrill. I became great friends with a technician named Arthur Lippee? who showed up on a regular basis in an effort to fix The Rialto’s rogue sound plant. Of course I’m speaking as a purist who lived behind the scenes. Truth is the public (hopefully) was probably never aware of any technical problems.</p>
              <p>History tells us that the first CinemaScope release was 20th Century Fox’s “The Robe”, premiering Dec 31, 1953 at Hoyts Regent Theatre, Melbourne. Hoyts Theatres Ltd, managing director Ernest G. Turnbull had made advance newspaper announcements. To quote: “Instead of the limited, almost-square picture we know today, CinemaScope gives real-life perspective, on a curved screen, two and a half times the normal width. Special glasses or viewers are not required. ( The modern miracle you see without glasses ) CinemaScope’s dimensional depth is an illusion created by light on myriad’s of tiny mirrors embedded in the screen. Sound we are accustomed to hearing from a single amplifier set at the center of the screen, is recorded on 4 separate magnetic tracks at point of origin, and is distributed through speakers arranged behind the screen, and around the auditorium. The outlook for 1954 is very bright indeed, said Mr. Turnbull. Leaders of the motion picture industry see CinemaScope as the dawn of an entire new era in entertainment” – Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p> The Mouse That Roared<br>Orion Theatre  282 Canley Vale Road, Canley Heights, NSW  - 1958</p>
              <p>The Mouse That Roared - The saga of the Orion theatre, Canley Heights NSW</p>
              <p>Photo : Fred Hawkins (left) & Doug Lindsay</p>
              <p>This is a story of endeavor, but more so it’s the story of a mighty Picture Show Man.  For what I’m about to write I have one regret. I wish that Fred Hawkins was alive to read it. Fred was a true independent exhibitor, who from an early age loved every aspect of the Cinema Industry. World War two was in it’s early stages when Fred and his friend Doug Lindsay became the exhibitors at the School Of Arts in Rooty Hill, NSW. The timing was right, it was only three years since the council had conveniently constructed a bio box, which had been tacked on to the rear of the building. Doug was an electrician while Fred a fitter and turner, and as such were both classified and working in protected industries. Never-the-less between rosters they managed to kick start Rooty Hill.</p>
              <p>On April 13 1940 they opened with Dick Powell’s Going Places and Boris Karloff  in West of Shanghai. The partnership ran with patched up Powers projectors on Peco heads, and the power was supplied by a temperamental generator. Rooty Hill had no electricity at that time. Later they were  to update with C & W P5’s, adapting on to Peco heads. Along the way the School Of Arts became the Regal theatre. The arrangement was to last happily for ten years, until Fred became restless and moved on, selling his share of the partnership to Bill Moore. David Wayside began his cinema career alongside Doug Lindsay in the bio box at Rooty Hil in 1953. The Regal theatre ceased screening in 1959 with Smiley Get’s a Gun. Television had now replaced many community activities, and the development of live entertainment and licenced clubs had begun.</p>
              <p>We pick up on Fred In 1951 when he became interested in the Glenfield Progress Hall, however there were no projection facilities. A bio box was constructed and second hand seating installed. Fred grandly christened it the New Empire theatre. Opening night was on Saturday July 7, 1951 with Universal’s “The Gal Who Took The West” supported by Abbott & Costello in “Mexican Hayride”.  Fred continued at Glenfield until 1953, when the on going business was sold to George Wallace from Alpine. In years to come the building was knocked down and units were built on the site.</p>
              <p>After selling the Glenfield show Fred took over the cinema at Gladstone, which is downstream from Kempsey. There was an immediate name change to the Pacific theatre. The bio box was equipped with C & W  P2’s on Magna Coustian sound heads. Two years later the theatre was sold to George Porter from Smithtown, and Fred moved into the public hall at Preston.  Once again it was necessary  to build a bio box, while C & W  P5’s on Magna Coustian sound heads were installed. The new Preston theatre opened on Saturday January 28, 1954 to excellent figures with High Noon from United Artists. Fifteen months later the business was sold on going to Ron Purvis. In years to come the Preston hall was moved onto the side street and is now the headquarters for the district fire brigade.</p>
              <p>Fred was about to act on a deep seated lifelong dream. An application had been made many years previous to build a theatre at Canley Heights. This is a suburb of Sydney,  31 kilometres south-west of the central business district.  He proposed to call it the Orion  [Latin (genitive Orionis)]  represented the figure of a hunter with belt and sword. Building a theatre was a massive hands-on undertaking for a solo independent. The thought of it over the years was becoming a major cause of stress, as there had been little response from the commission. Nothing during his time as an exhibitor would prepared him for the onslaught that was to follow.</p>
              <p>The application to build the Orion in Canley Heights had been submitted by Fred in 1946, following  the end of World War 2. There were several different enemies.  The Department of Building Materials, The Chief Secretary’s Department & The Theatres & Films Commission. During this period two local members Mr J. S. Freeman and Mr Jack Mannix lobbied ceaselessly on his behalf, but it wasn’t until Nov 1955 that the Commission after exhausting all avenues threw up their hands and finally granted him a licence.</p>
              <p>The victory was short lived when Suburban Cinemas P/L operating as Hoyts in Fairfield, and the Medich Brothers (owners of a Cabramatta picture theatre) lodged an appeal against the licence. They asked the judge to reverse the approval, as the area was a semi rural community with a population of 11,000 and did not need a theatre. They argued that existing theatres in the area were sufficient to fill it’s needs. A three day court case began in 1956 to hear the appeal. To Fred’s dismay their appeal was successful, however Judge Harvey Prior ruled that it had succeeded only on a technical point. A further application was swiftly submitted and the licence finally granted on Feb 15, 1957 to F. G. Hawkins of Canley Vale, there-by ending a costly soul destroying eleven year battle. Judge Prior said that he sympathised with Hawkins as some existing theatre owners had a adopted a dog in the manger attitude towards newcomers. For Fred these words came from heaven, despite the introduction of television he would now go forward and build his own theatre.</p>
              <p>News travels fast, and that night local exhibitor’s Percy J. Weight and Joe Cook knocked on the door offering Fred the Mt Pritchard theatre. The Parks theatre Mt Pritchard was only 8 minutes from Canley Heights and in Fred’s mind represented a direct threat to the new Orion project. The theatre was located on Meadows Road, in an area prolific with market gardens. The building was clad in asbestos sheeting and the seating was arranged in a stadium format, while the bio box was running Powers projectors sitting on top of Magna Coustian sound heads. Running Mt Pritchard would be a stretch, but better in Fred’s hands than a competing operator. For the time being Percy and Joe agreed to run Mt Pritchard for him.</p>
              <p>The grand opening #</p>
              <p>The Orion theatre at  282 Canley Vale Road, Canley Heights opened on Monday March 31st 1958 to turn away crowds with a double bill from Universal Pictures, consisting of Thunder Bay starring James Stewart, and Bonzo Goes To College. This was the culmination of nine months of back breaking work for Fred and his friends, who had constructed the building over many weekends with hammer, nails and a welding torch. The Biz (Fairfield NSW) newspaper reported  “The Orion was officially opened by Mr. N. J. Mannix, State member of Parliament for the district, who complimented Mr. Hawkins the proprietor on his tenacity and enterprise, along with the very comfortable appointments of the new theatre. This will serve our growing district for many years to come he extolled. Mr. Fred Hawkins expressed his thanks to all and announced that the theatre would operate every night of the week, with a complete change of program three times weekly.</p>
              <p>The Orion had a capacity of 350 seats, and consisted of both front and back stalls in a single story steel framed building. A crying room had been installed with comfortable seating, and a sound proof glass window, fitted and tilted to avoid reflection. The foyer was wrapped around the projection box and was constructed with brick lined Gyprock for fire proofing, and also featured a well stocked concession bar. Vinyl plastic floor tiles in green and yellow provided the dominant colours, while the foyer ceiling and walls were lined with asbestos cement and hardboard painted in pastel colours. The auditorium was remarkable for it’s simple inexpensive yet attractive finish. The layout was traditional except for the absence of stage curtains. The interior walls were lined with hardboard painted forest green. The original projection equipment featured Minerva projectors  and sound heads sitting on solid 12 inch concrete blocks. A Westrex amplifier and Paradise anamorphic lenses completed the installation. Two years later there was an upgrade consisting of  C & W projectors on RCA sound heads with Westrex amplifier.</p>
              <p>CinemaScope #</p>
              <p>The first CinemaScope presentation featured the Warner Bros production “Bomber B52”, which was followed by The King & I.  Much was made of CinemaScope in the local press. Later Fred was able to catch up with The Robe, Three Coins In The Fountain and the High and the Mighty..</p>
              <p>For Fred running the Orion, and Mt Pritchard together had now become a major distraction, while most programs were being switched between the two cinemas.  Fred writes in his long lost 1989 book The Vanishing Cinema. “In 1959 I passed Mt Pritchard over to David Wayside”. David continued to work Mt Pritchard with Gaumont British Projectors sitting on  Racophone sound heads. Television eventually won the day and the theatre closed. In 1964 the Mt Pritchard theatre was the victim of an arsonist and it burnt to the ground. David continued his association with the Orion, and would often fill in with relief projection and managerial support. In addition to operating the theatre Fred had established an agency for Stromberg-Carlson, which would operate in the front theatre foyer of the Orion during daylight hours. Here he sold TV’s, radio’s and record players. David would assist with the installations, delivery and repairs. The Orion Cinema ran successfully for a five year period, until attendance’s were reduced by the inroads of television to untenable levels. Fred’s theatre was demolished in the closing months of 1963.</p>
              <p>Fred Hawkins along with his friend Doug Lindsay remained lifelong friends and both have now passed into history. Fred’s fight to build the Orion is the stuff of what movies are made of. David Wayside revered him as a friend and a mentor and was most helpful in the writing of this article. An enduring legacy of affection remains for those who remember the amazing cinematic exploits of Fred Hawkins,  independent exhibitor and mighty “Picture Show Man”.</p>
              <p>Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Prince of Wales Theatre  254-258 Murray Street, Perth, WA - Meeting of Projectionists 1932 in the front foyer. - The passing Parade.</p>
              <p>Photo & comments posted on line by Barry Strickland - Quote: A sobering reminder of what a major industry the screening of films was for much of the 20th century. Here we have most of Perth’s projectionists and their assistants gathered at the Prince of Wales Theatre c.1932 to farewell Mr R. Devitt of the Western Electric Company. I count
              well over 50 heads - Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>David Wayside & The Mayfair Cinema</p>
              <p>The MGM reign at “The Metro Collins Street” came to an end with a re-run of Doctor Zhivago. The theatre went dark on June 30, 1971. The Greater Union Organisation moved in and ran the theatre until 1974, before handing over to Seven Keys, under the control of Andrew Gatty. The theatre was re-named “The Mayfair” The opening program was “The Wild Party” with an invited first night.. The company struggled to find consistent numbers, finally offering the theatre to David Wayside, an industry identity of some considerable experience, who had not long arrived from NSW and at that time was managing “The Dendy Theatre” Lonsdale Street. This writer remembers David’s first impression of “The Metro Collins Street” as he entered from the circle. To quote: Greg it’s beautiful, the screen is huge and curved, and the atmosphere is wonderful. So much tradition. I’m going to love this place.</p>
              <p>An extraordinary “Picture Show Man”</p>
              <p>This is more than a story of success, it’s the story of an extraordinary “Picture Show Man”. The opening program on July 7, 1976 was “The Great Spider Invasion”. Box office was average, however David was encouraged. At the same time Hoyts released “The Blue Bird ” in Sydney to miserable box office. The film was dumped immediately. 20th Century Fox looked for a house in Melbourne. “The Blue Bird” starred Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner & Jane Fonda. The film was made in Russia and the crits were really bad. David looked beyond the critiques and decided to give the film a go as the Mayfair Christmas attraction for 1976.</p>
              <p>PLOT for “The Blue Bird” – Mytyl and her brother Tyltyl are peasant children who are led on a quest for the Blue Bird of Happiness by the Queen of Light, who gives them a hat with a magic diamond that allows them to call forth the souls of all things, both living and inanimate. On their journey, they are accompanied by the human personifications of a dog, a cat, water, sugar, bread, light, fire, and the like. They visit the kingdoms of the past and future and the queendoms of night and luxury, at each place absorbing more wisdom. Eventually they discover “The Blue Bird” they’ve been seeking has been in their own backyard all along.</p>
              <p>The “Blue Bird” campaign</p>
              <p>David built his “Blue Bird” campaign around a series of personally produced radio & television commercials, in an off peak deal supplied by Channel 9. From day one it was obvious that the film had been beautifully placed. The venue was perfect, and “The Blue Bird” would stand on equal footing against all competing major houses in Collins & Bourke Street. The kids & the mums loved “The Blue Bird ”, it gave new meaning to the phrase “Word of Mouth”. Opening day and the queue stretched down to Swanston Street and beyond. Day after day every session was sold out. Ivan Hutchinson loved the movie and gave many mentions on Channel 7, while David’s “Blue Bird” emblazoned Toyota van patrolled the city and the suburbs with “The Blue Bird message”. The high end retailers around the theatre began to complain, and petitions were taken to the council in an attempt to stop the screening of the film which was disrupting their business'. David was achieving something that no other exhibitor in the world had managed to do. He had made “The Blue Bird” work.</p>
              <p>Top 20th Century Fox executives
              arrive in Melbourne</p>
              <p>Three top executives from 20th Century Fox arrive on David’s doorstep, to see why “The Blue Bird” was working at “The Mayfair”. There was no time for visitors, and all they could do was step back and take photographs of the milling crowds of kids & mums, and wonder about the chemistry of David’s campaign. For eight weeks “The Blue Bird” reigned supreme, breaking records and filling the majority of sessions. The Mayfair was now the favoured place to play holiday attractions, and in subsequent years David was to follow up with a “Benji” movie, and then the first release of Filmways “Blue Fire Lady”. Stage one of the “Blue Fire” campaign was to decorate a city tram. The cost was $8000 dollars, unfortunately after two weeks of cruising the city streets, the tram was to crash and burn. The tramway invoice was never sent, while the box office at “The Mayfair” for “Blue Fire Lady” was massive. The story of David Wayside’s period at “The Mayfair” ( 1976 – 1982) is the stuff of Cinema Legend, and a fitting requiem to one of Melbourne’s Heritage Picture Palaces – Contributed by Greg
              Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Kings Theatre, Russell Street Melbourne Victoria – Opened Sat July 11, 1908</p>
              <p>KING’S THEATRE</p>
              <p>The KING’S THEATRE in Russell Street Melbourne, between Bourke and Little Collins Streets, was opened on 11 July 1908. The building was a three storey asymmetrical series of bays ending with a pavilion, leading to a small vestibule. The gallery was still entered by staircases from lanes on both sides of the building.</p>
              <p>Built by William Anderson</p>
              <p>It was built and owned by William Anderson for his company, so from the start it had an association with the production of spectacular melodrama. Anderson continued his long association with revivals of Alfred Dampier’s successes For the Term of his Natural Life' and Robbery Under Arms', as well as with the Australian plays of Albert Edmunds (the pseudonym of Edmund Duggan and Albert Edward (Bert) Bailey). Anderson also produced other plays with strongly nationalist and on occasion xenophobic sentiments, including For Homestead and Honour' in 1912, and William Randolph Bedford’s White Australia' in 1909. For this production Anderson installed an act drop showing an Australian military continent against white, overlaid on a bright blue background with the Eureka flag in its centre.</p>
              <p>Cost thirty two thousand pounds</p>
              <p>The King’s cost thirty two thousand pounds, seated two thousand two hundred people, and had the latest in modern technology. The fly-tower stage, four stories high, had dressing and wardrobe rooms on each storey and a gallery with switchboard and dimmers for the electric lighting. In the interior marble featured extensively on the floor and walls of the vestibule and in the staircases to the dress circle, while the auditorium was decorated in gold, cobalt blue and royal blue in what was called the modern French Renaissance style. There was a lavish use of fibrous plaster to create effects such as floral devices and cupids on the front of the boxes and over the proscenium, where there was a panel showing Aurora with the children of Joy and Happiness painted to the effect of a tapestry. The dress circle seats were upholstered in blue velvet to match the front curtain, which featured a monogram in gold silk, surmounted by a crown.</p>
              <p>Projection equipment was installed in 1942</p>
              <p>Anderson, who had been nearly bankrupted by his failed Wonderland City investment at Tamarama, handed over the management of the theatre to Bailey and Duggan in 1911, but he retained ownership of the King’s and held his final season there in July 1929. The theatre was also leased by J. & N. Tait Ltd., J. C. Williamson’s and to Fuller’s who installed movie projection equipment in 1942. It was used briefly `live' from 1949-51 but then returned to showing films. After Norman B. Rydge purchased the freehold, the theatre was remodeled and reopened as the Barclay cinema in March 1959 but it was finally demolished in 1977 for the development of a multi cinema complex – Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Glen theatre 675 Glenferrie Road Glenferrie - Atmospheric Picture Palace</p>
              <p>Photo - Adrian Crothers</p>
              <p>Located in Glenferrie Rd, Glenferrie – the Glen Opened in 1917 as the Glenferrie Theatre, then  became the Palais de Danse in 1927, then the New Glen Theatre in 1940’s. It was converted for widescreen (CinemaScope) in 1955. It closed in 1960 due to the advent of television. For a while afterwards it was used as a music hall. In 2010 it was a shopping arcade.</p>
              <p>It was renovated in 2013, retaining as much of the original decorative features as possible, and re-opened as the 8-screen Lido Cinemas on 12th February 2015 with “50 Shades of Grey” showing in one auditorium. All auditoriums have 4K digital projectors, and there is also Dolby Atmos sound. There in an open-air rooftop cinema, said to be the first to operate in Australia as part of an indoor cinema.</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Hoyts Esquire Theatre 238 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC – CinemaScope installed 23rd Nov 1955.</p>
              <p>The Esquire’s first CinemaScope presentation was “Track of the Cat” starring Robert Mitchum, which opened on the 23rd November 1955.</p>
              <p>Notes by Eric White:
              For the installation of CinemaScope the stage setting was changed. An extended valance replaced the swags, and new red curtains covered a generously proportioned screen inside the proscenium. Quote from a review: The new process of CinemaScope at the Esquire captures the white canvas of the countryside covered with new fallen snow wondrously.</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Dungog Theatre  6 Brown Street, Dungog, NSW 2420 - 2012 - 100th Anniversary</p>
              <p>DECEMBER is the 100th anniversary of the first films being shown on the site of Dungog’s historic James Theatre.</p>
              <p>The Dungog Electric Lighting Company set up an open-air cinema in 1912, before James Stuart built a roof over the site. The theatre’s signature Spanish-style facade was added in the 1930s.</p>
              <p>The anniversary is passing without great fanfare because the theatre’s devoted fans are working hard just to keep it open.</p>
              <p>The James Theatre is the oldest purpose-built cinema still operating in Australia and Friends of the James Theatre chairwoman Lisa Connors described its present and future as fragile.</p>
              <p>Ms Connors said a small group of volunteers had done ‘‘amazing things’’ this year after welcome grants were received from the state government.</p>
  • <p>Melrose Theatre  254 - 258 Murray Street, Perth, WA - Roy Rene plays the Melrose 1913 & 1915.</p>
              <p>The Melrose Theatre Perth - Review</p>
              <p>*ROY RENE</p>
              <p>A crowded house greeted the change of programme at ‘Melrose Theatre on Saturday evening. Roy Rene, a clever Yiddisher comedian, who made his first appearance, scored an instantaneous success, and was on excellent terms with his hearers from the moment he appeared on the stage. His quaint dancing and broadly humorous songs and stories anent the vagaries of “my friend Cohen” were received with
              mingled laughter and applause, and an encore was in unanimous request at the conclusion of the turn. This was forthcoming in what was described as an impersonation of a Jewish prize fighter — an agreeable bit of foolery, excellently received - Mon 13 Jan, 1913</p>
              <p>*ROY RENE</p>
              <p>Wholehearted laughter</p>
              <p>The genial, droll Irishman, Mr. Albert Bletsoe, and the worried, sorely-tried Hebrew, Mr. Roy Rene,
              as the bogus beautifler and assistant respectively, made & pair of comedians who never failed to provoke wholehearted laughter, and to them
              the undoubted success of the evening was largely due - Mon 16th Aug 1915 - Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Capitol Theatre 113 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC  – Up close & personal – Picture Palace magnificence. It’s hard to surpass perfection!</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Ambassadors Theatre 625 Hay Street, Perth, WA - Christmas 1962 – Photo acknowledgment Julie Loran</p>
              <p>A wonderful atmospheric photo (taken by Julie Loran) set in Hay Street Perth Dec 1962, showing the front of house of “The Hoyts Ambassadors Theatre” with the “The Perth Town hall” in sight further up the street – Christmas is approaching & we see Pat Boone in the CinemaScope production “State Fair” will headline at “The Ambassadors” for the festive season – Contributed by Greg Lynch – Contact – <script type="text/javascript">
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              </script> – In the interest of history.</p>
  • <p>The Daily News (Perth, WA) – Mon 11 July, 1921 – Page 4, writes</p>
              <p>A NEW CINEMA FOR VICTORIA PARK</p>
              <p>Residents in the Victoria Park area will be glad to know that in the course of the next three months they will have a large and up-to-date picture palace in their suburb. The Amusu Theatre now in course of erection, is the most central part of this large area, and will undoubtedly prove a boon to all lovers of the movies, especially those who prefer to have their amusement where comfort and pleasant surroundings are the keynotes.</p>
              <p>A special system of ventilation</p>
              <p>A special system of ventilation, for use during the hot evenings of the summer is being installed. This scheme, which the proprietors claim will make the theatre as cool as an open air show, consists of large sliding doorways forming part of the side walls. This with a perfectly ventilated roof, the best of pictures and good music should make this theatre as one of the most popular in the metropolitan area,</p>
              <p>The proprietors Messers. Geo, Hall and J.R.Johnstone of Victoria Park expect that the theatre will be ready for use early in October. Architectural arrangements are in the hands of Messrs. Oldham, Boas, Perth, with Mr. T. Clare, Victoria Park, as the contractor – Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>His Majesty’s Theatre 825 Hay Street, Perth, WA – The art of Rev. Father Lynch – Sat July 11, 1936</p>
              <p>A VIOLIN RECITAL – REVIEW : The West Australian Newspaper (Perth, WA) Mon Jul 13, 1936 Page 18 –
              The Art OF Rev. Father Lynch By “Fidelio” – His Majesty’s Theatre performing Sat July 11, 1936</p>
              <p>A brilliantly successful public violin recital at His Majesty’s Theatre that stands unrivaled.</p>
              <p>The palm for clerical musical accomplishment in Western Australia just now undoubtedly belongs to the Roman Catholic communion. One has in mind, indeed, the sonorous contributions made to the programmes of a prominent choral society by a reverend gentleman of an other persuasion who at the moment is absent from the State, and there was a time when one of the Nonconformist pulpits of the city was held by a Mus. Bac. But the combination of a skilled and famed composer at the New Norcia monastery and, in the metropolitan area, a reverend father who can-and on Saturday did-give a brilliantly successful public violin recital at His Majesty’s Theatre stands unrivaled. The combination, incidentally, made graceful gestures, one member to the other. Dom S. Moreno had written a “Spanish Serenade” specially for Father Albert Lynch, and dedicated it to him, and Father Lynch gave it a first performance. It is a brisk affair, for the most part, in several sections and characteristic in rhythms.</p>
              <p>House full</p>
              <p>It is now nearly a year since Father Lynch (who, before his entry to the priesthood, was well known as a talented violinist) returned from Europe, and between that time and Saturday he had not given a public performance. Naturally the recital created much interest, so much so that at a time when local artists as a rule find it difficult to fill even the smallest of our halls for such ventures, Father Lynch drew a large audience to the biggest of them. Among those present was Archbishop Prendiville.</p>
              <p>Convincing and impressive</p>
              <p>Father Lynch met with a very cordial reception, and his artistic success was convincing and impressive. His performances showed him firmly in control of a very considerable technique, enabling him to attack exacting music with elan and bring off its effects clearly and brilliantly. In this they were notable, but not less so in virtue of the beautiful singing tone he produced, which was an outstanding feature. In conjunction with sensitive phrasing (in which the slur was used with perfect judgment, never bearing down the melodic curves into sentimentality) this made his treatment of lyrical passages most appealing and satisfying. Nothing in the evening, for instance, was finer than the opening movement of Corelli’s sonata in A major. a sustained music of gracious gravity. The point and vitality given to the succeeding Allegro were also admirable.</p>
              <p>Father Lynch’s playing was inspiring.</p>
              <p>Other works in which the player’s lyrical gift was happily demonstrated were the “Canzonetta” movement from Tschaikowsky’s concerto, a negro spiritual, Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” and one or two of the six numbers in an attractive “Suite Populaire Espagnol” by Manuel de Falla -the dreamy “Asturisna,” for instance, which followed a characteristic Andalu sian Dance, abrupt and brusque. The concerto was the evening’s centrepiece and the chief occasion for virtuosity. The dash of Father Lynch’s playing was here inspiringly in evidence, especially in the headlong rhythms of the finale, and it was also a feature of the more vigorous of the de Falla items and the energetic number, a kind of fierce moto perpetuo from Dohnanyi’s “Ruralia Hungarica” suite, which concluded the programme. Other listed items were a Bach gavotte, a Schumann Romance, and the curious “El Campiello” by the modern composer Principe, in which a short thrummed passage, heard twice, represents, one assumes, the “little bell.” The negro spintual (“Nobody knows de trouble”) and the “Ave Maria” were among the encores, which included also Poldini’s “Poupee Valsante,” the most popular of Brahms waltzes and “La Precieuse” (Couperin-Kreisler).</p>
              <p>Mr. Sidney Lynch</p>
              <p>The recitalist was fortunate in the admirable co-operation of Mr. Edward Black at the piano. Vocal interludes were provided by Mr. Sidney Lynch, a young baritone, and the violinist’s brother, who succeeded best with his stimulating, vigorously-delivered numbers by the English composers Vaughan Williams, Michael Head, and Russell.</p>
              <p>Albert Lynch was no less successful in Europe than in West Australia. His three and a half years of study were marked by no little triumphs. On Australia Day, 1925, Dame Nellie Melba engaged him to play at concerts which she was organising, and his success was such that he was singled out for special attention and praise by London newspapers papers. Albert Lynch is regarded as a violinist of supreme ability. It could be said the greatest West Australian exponent of the instrument in his time – Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Capitol Theatre  Griffith Street, Coolangatta, QLD -
              Photo Laurie Holmes - Great photo !!</p>
              <p>This is an old photo of the interior of the Capitol Theatre – seated is Bill (Chappie) Chapman – chief projectionist. Gent with back to camera in the white shirt is Gerald Conaghan – owner of the theatre. Great shot of the canvass seating.
              Gerald was a good hearted chap and put on a free matinee once a year for our School [all 200 of us]. Cartoons all afternoon. Good days…….Photo & comment courtesy of Laurie Holmes.</p>
              <p>Contributed by Greg Lynch - <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Capitol Theatre Griffith Street, Coolangatta, QLD – Theatre seats for sale by the roadside – Relics of an era – The Demise of a Picture Palace - A most significant photo posted on line by Dianne Leslight*</p>
              <p>To the people of Coolangatta “The Capitol Theatre” was a Picture Palace, a ‘Palace of Dreams’, part of a glamorous entertainment era that will never return. A night out at the movies was an event, and an afternoon matinee was a major treat - Contributed by Greg Lynch for the sake of history – <script type="text/javascript">
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  • <p>Photo of Chips Rafferty with Winsome Moffat opposite the Rex Theatre 1950’s : PHOTO CREDIT: DAYLESFORD & DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY.</p>
              <p>David Hill writes on line – March 13, 2007 – It’s a crying shame about the Rex, all in the name of progress I guess. I grew up in D’ford, from 1946 ’til I left the town as a grown-up 17 year old to go to the “big smoke”. I can remember the first VistaVision film that came there, and Chips Rafferty talking from the stage at the front of the screen to us school children after the screening of the film “Jedda”. If I remember correctly, a young member of the community had a part in the film. I also have fond memories of the Saturday matinees and later when I was allowed to go to the Saturday night showings with my older brothers who would buy me a ticket to the “stalls”, whilst they went upstairs to the “dress circle” with their girl friends.</p>
              <p>Harry Maddocks was the proprietor of the theatre then, and I can recall him unloading these large canisters of film from his car into the theatre which I think he had probably collected from the station – Contributed by Greg Lynch – <script type="text/javascript">
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