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convinced him that there   family piano and other home-based
                                                     was money to be made in    events. The most costly amusement
                                                     the movies!                was likely to be live theatre or
                                                        Besides the movies,     gambling on the races! Testament to
                                                     what else amused           the popularity of the latter is the fact
                                                     Australians during this first  that the Melbourne Cup was one of
                                                     decade? Much the same      the earliest actuality subjects filmed in
                                                     things as today actually,  Australia. The Cup in 1901 attracted
                                                     although some have fallen  some 95,000 people; one in five of
                                                     out of favour. Sports were  Melbourne's population at the time.
                                                     popular, picnics, outings to
                                                     the beach, country and zoo,
                                                     variety theatres and
                                                     circuses, all by public
                                                     transport; church socials or
                                                     sing-alongs around the

          Source: The Argus 24 Oct. 1896.
          late Bill (Shiny) Evans saw his first
          film show on a local sports ground
          with a sheet for the screen strung
          between the goal posts!              When Grandpa went courting in  Year  Location  One  Weekly  Ticket
             Prestige of the venue and public  the 1890’s, two tickets to the              Back    Wage   Price
          interest were intertwined in       Vitascope and transport to and from           Stalls  (Male)  (%)
          determining admission prices. In 1906  the city cost him about 12 percent  1896  Athenaeum  1/-  16/-  6
          The Story of the Kelly Gang screened  of his average weekly wage (see  1910  Federal  1/-  29/-  3
          at the Melbourne Town Hall with    table). When picture theatres came   Hall
          admission prices at a hefty three  to the suburbs, prices were well     Footscray
          shillings, two shillings and one   within most budgets            1918  De Luxe  1/-     47/-   2
          shilling while, a year later, the    The table shows that cinema        Bourke St.
          Athenaeum Hall was charging the    ticket prices in Victoria have  1924  Eclipse  1/1    72/-   1
          same (it was cheaper at the matinees.).  followed classic economic theory:  Port Melb.
          Of course, the Kelly story was still  the supply of the first projectors  1936  Cinema  1/4  65/-  2
          controversial, which would have    and films was limited and the        Richmond
          encouraged interest. By contrast, open  technology expensive. Showmen  1942  New  1/11   96/-   2
          air shows in 1908 at the South     charged high prices to recoup their  Glenhuntly
          Brisbane Cricket Ground cost the   investment. Ticket prices fell as  1960  St George  3/-  450/-  1
          grand sum of five cents on the oval,  competition increased the supply of  Yarraville
          ten cents in the grand-stand and   films and the means to show them.
          children half price! It's a wonder that  And by and large prices have  1970  Plaza  $0.80  $80  1
          the pioneer Australian film maker Bert  stayed that way.                Chelsea
          Ive became hooked on the movies                                   1994  Various  $10     $649   2
          after being charged ten cents for a                               2003  Various  $13.50  $750   2
          fifteen minute show put on in a
                                            Week-night prices at the pictures. Wage rates used in the early years were for male factory
          converted shop in Townsville in 1897.  workers. Their choice of seat was assumed to be Back Stalls - the largest seat block in a theatre.
          Of course, the price might have   For a man with his girl friend, double the percentage shown. For Dad, Mum and two kids, triple it.

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