Page 13 - cr55
P. 13

Although Dan Clifford was no
          longer operating the Lyric, he was not
          finished with Murray Bridge - just yet!
          On 13 April 1940 he re-opened at the
          800-seat town hall, operating as Star
          Pictures with Jack Brook as manager.
          Clifford ran the extensive Star circuit in
          South Australia.
            At the time that Stan Hanns was
          selected as the operator for the new
          Lyric in March 1924, the Picture Palace
          Company had also secured the lease for
          the town hall as a possible over-flow
          venue - times were good and the owners
          were optimistic!  Dan Clifford could
          well have been involved in negotiating
          this arrangement with the council.
            Maybe it was in his name, or
          perhaps the original agreement had
          lapsed, (which is more than likely as
          Clifford had originally signed up to
          operate the Lyric for 14 years, to
          1938). What-ever occurred, Clifford
          operated the Star on Saturday nights
          for about seven years.
            Watermans sold their interest in
          Ozone Theatres to Hoyts in the early
          1950s. Consequently, the theatre was
          renamed Hoyts Ozone Theatre. Major
          refurbishment took place in 1955 in
          preparation for CinemaScope. To
          accommodate the wider screen, the
          proscenium opening was enlarged by
          removing the side pillars, and a Miracle
          Mirror Screen installed. The murals
          were painted over, and new curtains and  Top: The pleasantly formal stage setting of the Ozone. Above: View from the stage.
          seating installed. Rewiring the building,  Images: Peter Smyth.
          and bringing in two second-hand                                      vehicles - although rumour has it that
          Western Electric/Simplex projectors was                              this was exceeded on occasions!  The
          all part of a major work-over.                                       manager at that time was Bob Caire.
            Strangely, stereo sound was never                                     The opening of the drive-in and the
          installed; the Western Electric 15watt                               availability of television in Murray
          amplifier, modified at one stage by                                  Bridge occurred at about the same time,
          Lance Jones, sufficed for the sound                                  severely affecting attendances at the
          tracks in those days! Seating was                                    Ozone. Seating was reduced at one
          reduced to 812 and evaporative air-                                  stage to 499.
          conditioning was installed.       Riverview Drive-In under construction  Jack Brook stayed on at the Ozone
                                            1958. (Ken Wells)
            Colin Kennett commenced work in                                    until his retirement in 1969, the time
          the projection room at the Ozone in  has been cut - no doubt a further  that Hoyts closed all of their country
          November 1958, under Jack Brook who  modification to the hall at the time the  theatres to concentrate on city theatres.
          was back as the manager/operator. Jack  movies came to Mypolonga!    The Ozone was sold in 1970 and Tom
          devoted his life to cinema in Murray  The 1950s brought a new movie-  the Cheap (Grocer) occupied the site.
          Bridge, starting as a school-boy  viewing experiences to the district.  It later became a Bi-Lo supermarket.
          handing out advertising brochures for  Suddenly a huge screen, about 30m x  Today Cash Converters are located at
          the Lyric, gradually taking on more  13m appeared on the outskirts of the  the old Ozone.
          responsibility as an employee at the  town, at one end of a five ha paddock.   While working at the drive-in
          Lyric/Ozone and the Star. He also    The Riverview Drive-In opened on  during 1976, Colin and his family, in
          screened films at near-by Mypolonga  11 December 1958 with So This Is  partnership with others, established
          Institute during the 1940s and 50s. The  Paris and East Of Sumatra. The  Cinema Enterprises Pty. Ltd. The aim
          ‘temporary’ bio-box can still be seen  brainchild of a consortium of local  was to build a new theatre for the town.
          attached to the front wall of the  businessmen, it was on Long Island  Plans were drawn up, the necessary
          Institute, straddling the original front  Road at the intersection of Swanport  approvals obtained and construction
          door into which a ticket-office window  Road. Official capacity was 280  work duly commenced.

                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2007 13
   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18