Movie Showman Vic Basham from Wongan Hills, died on Wednesday 14th October, 2020, in the Northam Palliative care unit, after suffering Alzheimer’s for the last 10 years.
Over his career, he had been actively involved in cinema from Perth into the regional areas and Wongan Hills in particular. When television was introduced to Western Australia, Vic became involved as a cine camera news gatherer for TVW Channel 7 and later was involved with NEW Channel 10 in Perth.
His oral history was recorded in an interview by Ina Bertrand at Wongan Hills on 27 August 1997, in which he spoke of his involvement in the industry as a Cinema projectionist, starting at the age of 14, with a job at the Savoy Theatre in Victoria Park, and after returning from the war, bought a country movie screening circuit, which covered the towns of – Carnamah, Coorow, Buntine, Dalwallina, Wongan Hills, Bolgart, Cadoux and Three Springs.
Vic Basham was working for Westrex when they put in a plant at the first drive-in in the state – the Highway in Bentley, Perth. He then decided to build a drive-in, at Wongan Hills which was the best town on his rural movie circuit. He bought the land from the Council, in Commercial Rd, opposite the railway station and almost in the centre of town. He put the gear together himself, and with Brian Parker built the bio-box and sit-in area. This venue opened in January 1959, and was soon screening five nights a week with three changes a week. It could hold 150 cars at first, but was so successful that it was soon enlarged to 200. There were forty deckchairs in the sit-in area.
When television had begun to make inroads into attendances, Basham sold the venue. It changed hands several times, and in 1997 was derelict.
Vic Basham was a Charter member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Wongan Hills.
Now with heavy hearts, the family has announced Vic’s passing on the 14 October 2020. Loving husband to Gloria for 69 years, father to Ray, Doug, Vicki (dec) and Murray, father in-law to Nicky, Sharon and Sandra, grandfather and great grandfather to their children. He is now in a better place, gone to the big “Picture Show” in the afterlife. He will be proudly remembered.
The Funeral Service to Celebrate the Life of Mr Victor Lindsay Hugh Basham of Wongan Hills will be held at the Wongan Hills Civic Centre at 11.00am on MONDAY (26.10.2020), followed by a Burial at the WONGAN HILLS Cemetery.