Equipment responsible to bringing together scattered Western Australian communities for many decades and helping to mould the social fabric and unique Australian culture is now being offered to regional community museums as a reminder of an almost forgotten phase in their local history.
In the early decades of the last century, scattered rural communities relied on the regular visits of the traveling picture show man with his heavy and bulky equipment to catch up on Australian and overseas events on the newsreels he brought with him to support feature films popular at the time. These picture shows brought the community together on a regular basis and played a major part in raising morale when times were tough. The larger towns eventually set up their own permanent picture shows, first for the silent films and then for the talkies. Enterprising Australian manufacturers helped fill the demand for this equipment which was adopted by a majority of the smaller and independent film exhibitors.
This technology, once the focal point of local social activity, has now been replaced by more modern, but less personal interactive means of entertainment and communication. These large 35mm film projectors, once the mainstay of city, suburban and rural entertainment for over 100 years are now almost completely being discarded in favour of the new digital technology. Universally, the main players in the film exhibition business are now consigned their projection equipment to the tip.
The Australian Museum of Motion Picture & Television (Inc.),(AMMPT) a volunteer nor-for-profit group of volunteers mainly from the local film and television industries have been locating and preserving this
obsolete technology for future public display. However since the advent of television, more and more of this equipment has been added to their collection and is now in excess of requirements.
Because of the important social role these machines played throughout the nation, AMMPT is now
seeking expressions of interest from community museums who may wish to feature one of these
machines in their galleries. They are also seeking photos and other memorabilia from these long
forgotten picture theatres to enhance local displays.
Curators wishing more information on this offer are asked to contact AMMPT by email on
email@example.com or phone Daryl Binning on 08 9310 3377.
Preserving the rich heritage of Australia’s Moving Image Industries for future generations