Old Movie The­atres

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - News -

I have been away a fair bit lately, but upon my re­turn home, I found that a reader had writ­ten and asked if I could give a talk to a lo­cal group about mem­o­ries. I am not one for pub­lic speak­ing, de­spite work­ing in ra­dio for a few years. I have yet to re­spond to the writer as I am go­ing through my diary to find a suit­able date.

This let­ter, how­ever, caused me to con­sider what prompts our mem­o­ries. It may be a pho­to­graph of a place or a per­son, a song play­ing on the ra­dio, a movie on tele­vi­sion, or a ques­tion asked on a quiz show. Any num­ber of things can bring back a mem­ory from the re­cesses of our mind. Now if you have some mem­o­ries why not share them here.

Last year I wrote an ar­ti­cle about James Pe­gler, a lo­cal boy who made quite an im­pres­sion in the world of song in Aus­tralia in the 1960s. What is not so widely known out­side the Hills dis­trict is that the Pe­gler fam­ily also owned and op­er­ated Cas­tle Hill’s only movie theatre or cin­ema for many years.

Movies were shown at the Re­turned Sol­diers Memo­rial Hall at Cas­tle Hill in 1935, by April 1938 a pur­pose built theatre the “Cas­tle Hill Theatre” with seat­ing for 425 was opened on Old North­ern Rd, where Cas­tle Mall is now lo­cated. It was built on land that had pre­vi­ously been owned by the Crane fam­ily and the first movie to be shown was “Em­peror’s Can­dle­sticks” star­ring William Pow­ell and Dulse Rainer. This theatre was owned and op­er­ated by Wes Pe­gler the fa­ther of James Pe­gler. It was

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