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            However, Ringwood's first hall was the Mechanics Institute, built   The hall  was  later to be  demolished  to make  way  for a  modern
            in  1909 on  the same site,  the corner of Whitehorse Road and   community centre. While I  never had personal acquaintance with
           Melbourne Street. This was  later replaced  by  the  much  more   tbe original hall, 1 have screened films  in  the modem  venue that
           substantial Town HaLl  building in 1927 with the addition of a new   replaced  it and  which  boasts  an extraordinary and  quite  unique
           theatre and smaller concert hall in  1936. It was in  this theatre that   raked seating structure that can be wheeled to  the rear of the hall
           regular film  screenings were later held. The theatre had a seating   and actually folded up out of the way for other functions!
           capacity of 753. By the start of the  1960s regular shows were still
           occurring,  the  last operator being a "W. Baker··. Over the years,   Progress Hall , Boronia
           as an  independent, Ringwood was linked ro the Box  Hill cinemas
           who ··switched ..  films with  it  and.  it"s believed. actually operated
           its screenings for some  period  of time.  Roscoe ·Roc·  Kirby  (of
           R.H. Kirby Theatres and  later, founder of Village Roadshow) ran
           Ringwood at one stage. his brother Kingsley actually working the
           theatre for a while.
           Mechanics Institute, Warrandyte

                                                                  Today the  local  Rotary Club manages  the old  Progress  Hall  on
                                                                   Boronia  Road close to the railway station.  Despite  vandals'
                                                                  attempts  to  burn  it  down  several  years ago,  the  old  hall  still
                                                                  survives  in  all  its  relative magnificence. a substantial tin1ber and
                                                                  plaster hall  that  was ofticially opened  for duty  on 5th February
                                                                   1926. Inside today, it  has been carefully restored and  is a  worthy
                                                                  reminder of what  picture-going would have been  like many years
                                                                  ago. Complete with a stage and projection box it would doubtless
           Although  it's  rather off our route  of theatre exploration,  brief   have seared around 400 or more in its heyday.
           mention might be made of the old Mechanics Institute Hall which
                                                                  Today the biobox  is  inaccessible. the original  internal stair having
           still stands as a reminder of the typical, fairly primitive venue that
                                                                  been  removed  to  prevent  intrepid  climbers reaching  it.  Having
           served its small  rural community as an  all-purpose entertainment
                                                                  projected tilm in the Progress Hall. I can attest to its auractiveness
                                                                  as a venue for both screening and viewing films.  After the demise
           More commonly  known  as  the  Warrandyte  Hall.  the  Mechanics   of the Boronia Hall as a cinema. tilm shows were transferred to a
           Institute  is  a  weatherboard  structure  built on  Warrandyte's main   purpose-built  cinema  in  the  fonn  of the  Electra.  built across the
           road  near to  the  river crossing  over the  Yarra. The Wanandyte   railway line  in  Dorset Road  and  opened  in  1952. The Electra.
           Hall  was never more than an  occasional home for film  shows for   which is outside the scope of this history of early cinema~. would
           the cinema had to compete with everything from  public meetings   last until its redevelopment as the Village Twin Cinemas in  1979.
           to  amateur dramatics,  the  latter  being its chief activity  in  later
           years.                                                 The Loyalty, Upper Ferntree Gully
           The  picture shows  were  operated by  an  independent exhibitor
           using.  it's  believed.  only  16mm  projection  gear. The hall  seated
           something in the order of 180 people.
           Public Hall, Ringwood East

           Once again, with an independent exhibitor operating it. the Public
           Hall  was  adjacent  to  the  railway station  and  was  only  an
           occasional  venue insofar as  film  shows were concerned. The hall
           saw  more activity with  live theatrical  shows and  community
           events in its later years, ending its days early in the  1960s (when I
           acquired one row of its  much  worn  and  decrepit  theatre seats:
           original batten-mounted, iron framed dating from around  1925!).
           Public Hall , Bayswater
                                                                  From  personal  acquaintance  I can  recall  the Loyalty  screening
           The Bayswater Public Hall was situated on Mountain Highway in
                                                                  films  in  the  middle  1960s:  in  fact it  was  not to close  until  1973.
           Bayswater. close to  the rai lway station.  It was  operated  by  an
                                                                  The Loyalty was situated at 3 Rose Street, Upper Ferntree Gully,
           independent exhibitor and  seated  150  or  so.  It ceased  film
                                                                  just off Burwood  Highway.  It was opened  in  1939 and  was a
           screenings in the early 1960s. At  the end it  was being operated by
                                                                  stadium-type building.  Jt  was  owned and  operated by Laurie
           a ·'w.  Baker and  Mrs A.E.  Haynes".  Little seems to be  known
                                                                  Peters who also  the cinema at  Upwey.  In  1961  Film  Weekly
           about its operations.
                                                                  recorded  the exhibitor as  Roy  Farmer. T he  Loyalty  offered
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