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                                                                  1995, as a multi purpose venue, before a capacity audience
            battens and curtains for stage shows.                 of 650, who were given a special opening concert. (11)
             Apparently 'Sorlie's' appeared or played there from time to
            time, as well as  other touring shows.  There are two  large   Films were introduced later that year. For many local chil-
            dressing rooms at the rear of the stage. The building is all   dren, it was their first experience in a cinema, and when the
            brick and quite solid, with a very light cement render wash   house  lights  dimmed,  some  became  frightened  and  leapt
            over the internal walls, barely covering the brickwork.   from their seats. But the fear turned to fascination when the
                                                                  film got underway. According to Mr Hugh Packard, one of
            We liked the  theatre  immensely  and thought it had great   the members of the committee, The best moments are when
            potential. It was disappointing for us that it didn 't work, but   it's filled with 600 kids and you hear the building erupt with
            like everything we got there too late. It had a bad reputation   laughter. (12)
            and locals just were not going to go there. They had the new
            twin in Wagga which you would swear was just across the   The sound system was  bought cheaply  from  a  rock band,
            street (9)                                            and  two  carbon  arc  projectors  were  acquired  from  the

            Melissa O'Brien recalled the Montreal thus: I am originally   former Majestic Theatre in Hay. (13)
            from  Tumut,  where  we  had  a  beautiful  old theatre,  the   In June 1998 settlement was proceeding for the sale of the
            Montreal.  I  remember going there as  a  child,  with  its  red   theatre to Council, using funds  from the foundation and a
            velvet curtains and the galleries on either side. There was a   $40,000 deposit raised by the local community. This deposit
            great furore not so long ago, when they wanted to knock it   was donated in small quantities by the townspeople them-
            down, but the town banded together and have since redone   selves, including children who would drop by the theatre to
            it and are now utilising it to show movies as it once was.(lO)   give  their  coins  and dollars.  That the  Tumut community
            In 1995  the Blakeney-Millar Foundation, which had more   wanted the theatre kept was certainly evident and a tribute to
            than  $1.5  million  in trust  bequeathed  by Lily Millar for   those who have campaigned tirelessly to retain and restore
            Tumut projects,  offered to buy the theatre and lease  it to   it
            Council.  Council  rejected  the  offer,  believing  the  theatre
            would  be  a  burden  on ratepayers.  A  community  group,   The  Montreal  screens  one  or  two  nights  weekly,  and  is
            Montreal  Steering  Committee,  was  established  and  pre-  extensively used for school  functions,  meetings etc.  Films
            sented a proposal to the Learmont family and the Founda-  such as  "Titanic"  look  and sound  wonderful  on  its  huge
            tion requesting two years to cany out a feasibility study into   screen. It is in good condition, although its foyer space is a
           the theatre's future.  The theatre was reopened on April  19,                          (Continued on page 8)

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