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HAPPENINGS                                                                     by Fred Page

            After a hectic close to 1994, 1995 commenced at a similar pace. Thanks to Peter O'Reilly, a hasty inspection
            of the Broaoway Elwood was  arranged with the selling agents for saturday, 11  Feb '95. This old theatre has
            been used since closure in 1960 as a reception hall, cabaret and disco.  The interior Is an  allover gloss black,
            and even the curtains, which still operate, are black.
            The stage  is framed in  a Spanish  style  proscenium  and there  are similar types of grill work  on the  walls
            although the general architectural style is reminiscent of nineteenth century town halls.  Both levels of the
            theatre are flat floored although it is understood the upper area was raKed when a cinema.  That upper space
            was used as a billiard saloon in the early days.  In spite of the Short notice around twenty members attended
            and several members of the public joined in during the lnspectJon.

            The following  week,  19 Feb,  a large  gathering  Inspected the rormer Re!Jent, Thornbury, now the  Catania
            Ballroom.  Many of the theatrical elements have been retained. the foyer in virtually original condition com-
            plete with coming attraction recesses, tick:et box. grand marble staircase a1nd beautifully painted cupola.  The
            raked dress circle  has been replaced by a ftat floor of Immense area for clinlng and dancing.  The ceiling is
            original as is the wall decoration picket out in gold  and pastel  colours to t1ighlight Its beauty,  all in excellent
            condition and a credit to the owners.

            Next step was the Heidelberg Repatriation  Hospital theatrette where we  were given a talk  on the St.  John
            Theatre and shown slides of the theatre during demolition In  1994.  Lots of historical Items were displayed
            Including the St. John plaque, ten of which were part of the theatres decoration and are now preserved.  Files
            and photos were also open for Inspection.  CATHS·V framed certificates were presented to both organisations.

            The inspections were followed by a photo-stop at ttle Orient, Heidelberg, now a Commonwealth Bank admin-
            istration facility, and then a barbecue lunch at the President's residence.

            After lunch a sojourn was made to the Doncaster Memorial Hall. This red  brick country style hall was built In
            1922 and featur~s a picture framed stage opening and a purpose built bio tl10x for a single projector which was
            In regular use prior to sound. During the visit a rehearsal was In progress for a nineteenth century melodrama
            and we heard the familiar phrase "jolly good song, jolly well sung, jolly good fuel< to everyone".  A happy line on
            which to depart to the Doncaster Athenaeum.  Unfortunately we  could not gain  entry  to  the  premises as a
            church service was in session and to get exclusive entry right a fee of $25 would have to be paid to the council.
            Perhaps another day.

            It was then back to the saunders for afternoon tea Including tackling the rennainder of the Anniversary cake.  A
            rest and  a chat  was then the order of the day before exercising our teeth  on  an  evening  meal.  With  full
            stomachs we then  sat down to watch  an excellent selection  or short  subjects, the one getting the greatest
            laughs was a  Laurel  and  Hardy featurette.  ThanKs to Garry and  Vilma for hosting  this  long  but enjoyable

            For the third weekend in a row, more CATHs-V.  At the conclusion of our formal meeting on 26 February we
            had our usual fix of Spysmaster after wflich we enjoyed a widescreen slide, presentation of Melbourne picture
            palaces including shots taken on recent visits to the Forum and Capitol.  As usual, Brian Beatty conducted the
            Show in his own special way and was given an appreciative round of applause at the conclusion.  Thanks yet
            again Brian for your great effort.

            The next event, tbe annual picture night was on barely three weeks later and was well attended on both nights.
            The program  was  of several  one  reelers, two of which, "The  Detectiven  and  "Shanghaied" starred  Charlie
            Chaplin followed by the feature "The Blue Light". The whole program, with the exception of "Shanghaiedn was
            presented on 9.5mm film and was all silent film accompanied by an excellent sound tape. "The Blue Light" was
            a haunting drama intensified by the superb black and white photography and with the equally superb sound
            tape the film took on epic dimensions.

            Congratulations to  Denzil  Howson  for collating such  an  appropriate sound track.  Watch out Carl  David!  It
            hardly needs mentioning that the supper table was up to the usual CATHS-V standard.

            Thanks again to Ken Tulloch for opening The Roxy yet again and to both Ken and Denzil for putting on such a
            great program. If you missed this great social occasion, join in our trip to Gippsland in May.  There'll be another
            wonderful movie on then.
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