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43.  The Tatty Theatre                                                       by Alan Windley

                                    The "Tatty" - Some of the audience and the bio-box

            On Sunday the 10th of December,  1995, Cinema And Theatre Historical Society of Victoria visited the "Tatty
            Theatre" in Seymour, about 60 miles north of Melbourne on the Hume Highway. This was our second visit to
            this venue.

            Leaving my place at about  10.30 with  Fred Page,  John  Fitzsimons, John  Polianakis and  Martin  Powell the
            weather was just fine, and the gossip in the car was something that I cannot repeat. Arrival time was just right,
            and  our host  Neil  Harris, a  member of CATHS-V, and  his  very charming  wife  Nancy  made  us  more  than
            welcome again. Directed to drive straight into the yard and park in the shade it was no surprise to see the lawn
            mowed (you could practice putting on it), the tables and chairs spread around among the trees, and the barbie
            set up and ready to go. Talk about service.

            After a very pleasant lunch in this great outdoor setting it was movie time and we all made our way into the
            "Tatty". From the street it just looks like a house, which it once was. Inside however Neil has made a few slight
            changes. Being a typical style house where the front room  is usually the lounge room, the middle room the
            dining room, and  the back room  the kitchen, enabled Neil to remove the wall between the front and middle
            rooms, giving him one long room, put some ports in the kitchen wall, and suddenly you have the makings of a
            small cinema.

            In the bio-box there is a raised  platform for the projectors, which  are one  35mm  and  two  16mm. This was
            necessary as the seats at the back of the cinema are raised up for better viewing. If you can visualise houses
            that were built in the late 1800's with timber walls and ceilings, then that's the "Tatty", God bless it. The bio-box
            might not be the biggest, but it's not the smallest, and if it gets cold in the winter then you can always light a fire
            in the kitchen stove. How many theatres have that facility.

            After about an hour of film we broke for afternoon tea,  coffee and biscuits in the little snack room  off to one
            side. It probably used to be a bedroom at one stage, then back to another hour of film. As you know time flies
            when you are having a good time with  excellent company, so it soon came time to farewell, with great reluc-
            tance, our hosts, Mr., and Mrs Harris of that famous theatre, "The Tatty". Thanks Fred for arranging another
            great outing.
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