Page 7 - CinemaRecord #11R.pdf
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Letter to The Editor                                                          by Alan Windley

             This year I celebrate ten years as a member of a theatre historical society. Before CATHS-V was formed  in
             Victoria there were local meetings of the Australian Theatre Historical Society, and at the time I joined ATHS,
             meetings were held  on  a week night at Commerce  House  in  Flinders Street and  Rod  Cook was the  local
             representative.  Looking back on  those days  I can't help comparing  the  meetings at that time with  those of

             In  1986 meetings were held in rooms rented by a railway historical group in conditions akin to a steam running
             shed -most appropriate for them, but for people with  the swish of the velvet in their blood it couldn't be worse.
             I understand  it was free (or nearly so).  No wonder only seven or eight members were regular attenders.  It
             looked like a big crowd when Rod Cook brought his wife Edwina and the two children. That at least assured us
             of a good cup of tea. The meetings couldn't have been more boring and dull if they'd been held in a mortuary,
             the business usually revolving around regulations and deadlines and the need for approval.

             Eventually, after trying to find a way of working with Sydney, which seemingly couldn't be achieved, a  meeting
             was held in October 1989 which resulted in the creation CATHS-V. The decision was unanimously approved on
             the motion of Rod Cook, seconded by Ken Tulloch. At an earlier meeting when formation of our own group was
             discussed I was the only one who spoke against it. I thought that if people are not coming to this dump now,
             then how are we going to get them to join a new society, and where were we going to meet? Then I decided I
             would go along with the  mob, but I wouldn't be  dropping out  of A.T.H.S. The big problem with the Victorian
             Branch of A.T.H.S. was that by the time information for any inspections, social nights, or trips away, (they were
             scarce) was sent to Sydney for approval, and the arrangements made, interest was just about nil.

             The birth of C.A.T.H.S.-V was not something that was supposed to destroy A.T.H.S. or to operate in opposition,
             it was to let us (Victorians) do our own  thing.  The name for our Society was first suggested  by Rod  Cook -
             Cinema And Theatre Society, (C.A.T.S.)  it was good,  but we had a worry inasmuch as a dog may have set
             upon us if we mentioned the name in the street aloud, I suggested that the word  Historical  be put between the
             T and S,  bingo, C.A.T.H.S.-V was born when a V was added to signify a Victorian group.

             Our first meeting was on 25th February, 1990 attended by thirteen members at the Carlton Theatre; boy was
             that a lift, we went from boiled lollies to chocolates and we have never looked back; the meetings are getting
             bigger and more sociable and some members want more meetings even though we have a meeting on the
             fourth Sunday of every second month starting in February, and we had to start earlier, members request, they
             wanted more time to socialise between the meeting and the film.  This is not the only event, we visit members
             theatres, regardless of distance, and if we have a country theatre to visit (we usually end up visiting several
             theatres) it means a stay overnight in a motel, everyone shares their car if possible, what a Society!  When we
             first met at the Carlton Theatre our tea break  was about 10 minutes and I think we had about 6 cups, today the
             break  has to be longer as it takes time to make 40 or 50 cups of what ever you drink. (God bless the ladies,
             may they never desert us.)

             If A.T.H.S. thought that C.A.T.H.S. had any intention of competing against them they must surely realise, (after
             6 years) how wrong  they were. Our Secretary informs all  applicants about A.T.H.S.  when joining C.A.T.H.S.
             Their answer is generally that they want to join CATHS-V because it's in Melbourne.

             As  I've  said,  this  is  a  great Society,  and  the  people  in  it are top class  (no  snobs).  I would  like to  mention
             everyone in C.A.T.H.S. but space does not permit. One thing that I will mention is that members of A.T.H.S. are
             welcome to attend a  C.A.T.H.S. meeting, or inspection, or social event.  If they come to  Melbourne they can
             contact our Secretary, Fred Page, on (03) 9786-7601 .



                  Genuine old C & W base (looks a bit like a Powers base.
                  Also require  C & W upper and lower magazines. Purchase, or trade, of spare C & W head considered.

                  Contact:  Peter Mac, N.Z. Studio & Cinema Heritage, 10 Gates St.  Dunedin 9001, N.Z .

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