IN FOCUS PRESENTATION – 2017
The AMMPT WR Inc. ‘inFocus’ program provides a free presentation for members and the public.
‘inFocus’ Presentation – Wednesday 16th August
This coming Wednesday Roy Mudge presents:
“The Glamorous, The Exotic, The Forlorn, and The Forgotten”
An in depth account of the rise and decline of four of Perth’s great Cinemas.
Through Roy’s careful research and the rebuilding and revisiting of photographic records on the large screen you will get some idea of what Perth has lost forever.
Roy gives us a thorough and accurate insight into these four great Perth icons which have not only been destroyed but have all but been erased from Western Australians memory.
Be at the RSL Hall 1 Fred Bell Pde, St James on Wednesday evening at 7.00pm for a 7.30 start. Free refreshments are provided
Inquiries to Keith Rutherford 9446 1627.
- The Cremorne Theatre and Gardens (1895-1914)
- Theatre Royal (1897-1978)
- Queen’s Hall (1899-1926), Regent Theatre (1927-1938), Metro (1938-1973)
- King’s Picture Gardens (1908-1911), Spencer’s Esplanade Gardens (1911-)
- Capitol (1929-1968)
- The Melrose (1908-1922) and Prince of Wales (1922-1935)
- Shaftesbury (1911-1924), Luxor (1925-1944), Tivoli (1944-1949), Perth Ice Palais (1949-1955), Canterbury Court (1955-1999)
- Perth Trades Hall (1912-1985), Unity Theatre (1940-1948), Delaney Gallery (1985-2014), Trades Hall (2014-)
- Pavilion (1914-1930)
- Britannia (1915-1918)
- Grand (1916-1980)
- Majestic (1916-1937), Plaza (1937-1965), Paris (1965-1984)
- Palladium (1918-1925)
- The Ambassadors (1928-1972)
- Times Theatrette (1934-1936)
- Piccadilly (1938-2013)
- Mayfair (1947-1968), Capri (1968-1987)
- Liberty (1954-1978), Kimberleys City Cinema (1978-1992), Liberty (1992-1997)
- Savoy Theatrette (1955-1964), Savoy R-rated (1965-1983), Savoy (1983-1987), Sex cinema (1987-1991)
- Town Cinema (1969-1992)
- Academy Twin Cinemas (1975-1988), Lumiere Twin Cinemas (1989-1996)
– “The Dying Of The Light” was presented by Roy Mudge in the June presentation. A light hearted but poignant look at life behind the cinema projector. Free light refreshments.
Ken McKay,again presented a story on Film History in May. This time he looked at the business of the great American Movie Houses entitled:
“The Hollywood Studio System: 1930 – 1940”
The period wasn’t all ‘Guns and Roses’ or ‘Hearts and Flowers’
The two decades that began with the Great Depression and led into World War II, is remembered as Hollywood’s Golden Age. More than 80 million people took in at least one film per week at the height of the cinema’s popularity. This period also saw the introduction of the Production Code, B-Films, and the first animated feature of Snow White. Hollywood’s Golden Age began to decline in the USA during the late 1940’s due to the introduction of television, Hollywood blacklisting, and the ability of actors to become ‘free agents.’ A final blow to the industry occurred in 1948, when antitrust suits were filed against the major studios.
“The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned To Talk”
The AMMPT ‘inFocus’ program is pleased to host this new set of presentations. It is a complex study covering Perth’s early film entertainment through to the present.This first segment aims to set the stage for early screenings and traces development through to the end of the silent era.It should be understood that Perth’s earliest beginnings were primitive and life was hard. By comparison with other settlements in the East. We show how Perth was a backwater and not particularly inviting to new settlers.The story is picked up during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 – 1901) when many of the early colonial buildings were established.The Gold Rushes between 1885 and 1893 brought about a huge influx of miners from the east and from all parts of the world. The population was exploding.1896 sees the first ever film screenings and marks a beginning for Perth Cinema. At the same time, Perth was experiencing a deadly heat wave. Water was scarce, sanitation was primitive, well water, and even the first dammed water became contaminated and typhoid fever broke out, peaking with epidemic numbers. Consequently, there was also a big growth in breweries, with beer often preferred to drinking the water, meanwhile temperance lobbies were fighting the consumption of alcohol and the temptations of gambling. This extended to simple fairground raffles that were collecting funds for charity. The country became dotted with Coffee Palaces, which were hotels devoid of alcohol.They were some of the pressures society faced back then, as we left the Victorian era and its strict rules of etiquette… with much of the moral norms to be challenged by the stories and images that film portrayed.This first presentation briefly traces film screenings from the earliest outdoor settings to more elaborate venues, as theatres were built with increasing grandeur.Film sources, their content and the silent stars will be briefly conveyed through vintage footage, photographs, newspaper advertisements and posters.
This documentary contains many fascinating interviews, with lots of great archive footage which explains in clear detail the evolution of sound in the cinema.
It is sprinkled with vintage clips of stars such as Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Greta Garbo, and Orson Welles.
The nearly 30-year struggle to bring sound to motion pictures is the backdrop for this insightful documentary. Film historians, and survivors from the era take the audience from the early failed attempts by scientists and inventors, to the joined forces of Western Electric and Warner Bros. who, with their Vitaphone process, revolutionised the entertainment industry, perhaps more than any time before or since.
While a few earlier sound films had bits of dialogue, they were all shorts. The first Warner Bros. Vitaphone feature film, Don Juan (1926), starred John Barrymore, and was a handsomely mounted epic. It was a silent film, but one that featured a synchronised instrumental score and sound effects. Audiences and critics responded with great enthusiasm, and Don Juan was a box-office smash. Many thought its success was not so much due to the feature film, but more for the fascinating program of Vitaphone shorts that preceded the feature. Its success drove Warner Bros. to try and expand the potential of VItaphone. Like Don Juan, The Jazz Singer was initially conceived as a silent feature film, with synchronised underscore and sound effects, but this film would also have synchronised singing sequences built around Jolson performing as only he could.
The Jazz Singer was initially conceived as a silent feature film, with synchronised underscore and sound effects, but this film would also have synchronised singing sequences built around Jolson performing as only he could.
The Jazz Singer stars entertainment legend Al Jolson in a story that bore a few similarities to his own life story. Jolson portrays a would-be entertainer whose show business aspirations conflict with the values of his rabbi father (Warner Oland). The Jazz Singer began life as a 1925 Broadway play, and was revived early in 1927, starring George Jessel. The Warner brothers offered Jessel the opportunity to reprise his stage role on the screen, but he and the studio couldn’t agree on salary. The studio then offered the part to Eddie Cantor who declined. The part was finally offered to Jolson, who was then at the height of his popular
Jolson had broken new ground on the stage and sold millions of phonograph records. Just his name on the marquee of a Broadway theater, or on a piece of sheet music, almost always guaranteed success. He found the challenge of conquering the screen via the new VITAPHONE technology irresistible. Jolson headed to Hollywood and began work on The Jazz Singer at a fervent pace. Only a few months later, his labors resulted in the creation of an indelible piece of motion picture history.
The Great Dictator is a 1940 American political satire comedy-drama film written, directed, produced, scored by and starring Charlie Chaplin, following the tradition of many of his other films. Having been the only Hollywood film-maker to continue to make silent films well into the period of sound films, this was Chaplin’s first true sound film.
The next part will look at the ‘talkies’ in Perth.
RADIOSONIC The First 50 Years of the Wireless and the Gramophone in WA.
It is planned to run for four months – till the end of August.
The new exhibition will be held in partnership with the Vintage Gramophone & Wireless Club of WA.
Radiosonic! showcases radios and objects from both collections and tells the story of the role that Wireless Hill played in the history of this loved form of communication.
Radiosonic! is accompanied by a series of free Sunday Radio Talks at Wireless Hill Museum.
Old Wind-up Gramophone Information Day
July 3, 12 noon -3pm
Australian Telephones (1876 -2016)
July 10, 2pm
First Television Experiments in WA (1936 – 1950)
July 17, 2pm
The Story of Analogue Television (1935 -1981)
July 24, 2pm
From 6WF to the ABC (1924 -1932)
July 31, 2pm
Dinosaurs of Sound (1925 -1935)
August 7, 12 noon – 3pm
Coming of Sound in WA Cinemas, Part 1 (1904 -1914)
August 14, 2pm
Original Records of Famous People (78 and cylinder records)
August 21, 2pm
F.R.I.E.D. (1879 – 2016)
First Real International Exhibition of Darksuckers
The Science and Technology of Darksuckers (1879 – 2016)
August 28, 2pm
All talks are free to attend.
Wireless Hill Museum is open Wednesdays & Fridays, 10am to 2pm;
and Sundays, 12 noon to 4pm.
For more information, please contact
Wireless Hill Museum
at 9364 0158 or
IN FOCUS PRESENTATION –
IN FOCUS PRESENTATION – Richard Rennie – RSL Hall, in Fred Bell Parade, St. James – Wednesday August 17th – 7.30pm.
“The Science and Technology of Darksuckers (1879 – 2016)” – Free admission tea /coffee/ biscuits provided.
Do come along to support and to encourage our efforts so that these monthly meetings can continue next year.
Here are some reports on past InFocus presentation held by the Australian Museum of Motion Picture and Television (AMMPT).
Turmoil in the WA Television Industry during the 1980s
- Channel Nine, Sydney, went to Frank Packer’s The Daily Telegraph.
- Channel Seven, Sydney, went to a subsidiary of Fairfax, which owned the Sydney Morning Herald.
- Channel Nine, Melbourne, went to a consortium which included two newspapers, The Argus and The Age.
- Channel Seven, Melbourne, was originally owned by The Herald and Weekly Times Limited, owners of The Herald and The Sun.
- Channel Nine, Brisbane, went to Fairfax.
- Channel Seven, Brisbane, went to Queensland Press, owned by the Herald group.
- Channel Nine, Adelaide, was owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owned The News newspaper.
- Channel Seven, Adelaide, was owned by the Advertiser Newspapers, then controlled by The Herald and Weekly Times.
- Channel Seven, Perth, went to a West Australian Newspapers subsidiary.