Historical help needed
THE Douglas Shire Historical Society has been very fortunate to be awarded funding by the Federal Government’s "Your Community Heritage" program through the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
Our project is to study the history of the Photo Play Theatre in Mossman.
This popular cinema began in Lunn’s Coronation Hall, the building where the Welcome Mart is now just near the entrance to Mossman Mill, with the first screening in about 1912.
A new cinema "The Rex" opened in 1956 next to the Exchange Hotel in Mill Street. It closed in 1982 and became an indoor cricket stadium.
As part of our research, we would like to talk to anyone who used to work at either cinema, or anyone who has memories of going to the pictures. We’re also looking for photos and any memorabilia such as tickets or programs or posters.
Here are some memory joggers: How often were the shows on? When did the films change? Was there a newsreel? A cartoon? A double feature? What were the seats like? Was there a Dress Circle? How much did it cost to get in ? How many people did the place hold? Did people stand at the back?
Could you book your tickets in advance and if so, where? How did you get there, by bus? What time did it finish? Was there a ’tray boy’ inside who sold lollies and ice creams? What sort of ice creams could you buy? Did anyone roll Jaffas down the aisle? Who were the managers? Can anyone remember a person playing the piano there? These are the sorts of things that are very different from going to the cinema today.
Please contact me on 4098 4900 if you have any information, however small it may seem. We have to complete this project, including the production of a small booklet, by January.