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The handbill for the letter-box drop.

          advertisement) and to make much of  her sister were old enough to join them,  sometimes a clown. We would sing,
          the quality of the ventilation system. In  they added D 35 and D36 to the  ‘Come along and have a Peters Ice
          fact the Eclipse was dogged by    booking. Later on, Kay was the one  Cream,…’ and of course, the Hoyts
          ventilation problems, including the  who picked up the reserved seats at  Children’s Cinema Club song.
          need to fix the noise for ‘clearer  5.30 pm each Saturday. The family   “We saw RKO, 20th Century Fox
          reproduction of sound,’ and a demand  home was close to the Eclipse and their  and Warner Brothers pictures. For
          in 1931 to introduce ‘efficient   involvement became more than just  MGM or Paramount it was the Kinema
          warming’ for the winter months.   patronage.                         in Albert Park. Some of the serials were
            These problems did not affect      In the fifties Kay’s father Arthur  Jungle Jim, Sir Galahad and one that
          attendances. From opening night and  worked at the Eclipse as an usher on a  looked a bit like Biggles.” (Probably
          for many years the Eclipse was usually  Friday night during the time when his  Republic’s Bruce Gentry.)
          booked out on a Saturday evening. This  nephew was manager. A brother-in-law,  “Programs changed half-way
          said a great deal about the design and  Eric LeGassick also worked there for  through the week. Most English films
          comfort of the theatre, as the locals  ten years. “Just after my mother was  were on at the beginning of the week
          agreed that it didn’t always have the  married she was sitting in the audience  because they didn’t seem as important
          best films.                       when one of the slides flashed on the  as the ones from Hollywood. The ‘B’
            ‘Robbery Under Arms’ was how the  screen had her photo on it as a bride.  films were always shown before
          local paper headlined a hold-up in May  Her wedding photographer had selected  interval.
          1937. The manager, Mr. John Follett was  her photo for his advertisement!   “The Eclipse had ushers, not
          counting the day’s takings in his office  “It was a big excitement for my  usherettes, and one lady ticket seller,
          when a youth entered with a sawn-off  mother as it was on the screen for  Jean Elmslie who spent many years in
          pea rifle, ordered him to put up his  several months. You might say the  the ticket box. I admired her outfit so
          hands and demanded the money. Eight  Eclipse got into our blood. I loved that  much - a floor-length gored, maroon
          pounds ($16) was handed across. An  theatre and I loved living near it.”  skirt, with a cummerbund of the same
          alert usher who had seen the man enter  Kay’s recollections extend from  material. She wore a long, very full
          the office followed and grappled with  stories told by her parents, and her own  sleeved, white blouse with a wide, open
          him, and the two men overpowered the  first memories to the time the theatre  collar. Over the blouse she wore a little
          intruder. That evening a 20 year old was  closed. As well as descriptions unique  bolero, also maroon. The ushers wore
          charged and locked up.            to this theatre, many readers will  black trousers and a short maroon
          First-hand memories.              recognize the same weekly rituals in  jacket with a double row of gold
                                            their local Hoyts suburban theatre.  buttons.
            Local History Librarian at the Port
          Philip Library Service, Kay Rowan,   “Presenting your ticket to the usher  “I have vivid memories of all parts
          spent many a Saturday night at the  at the children’s matinee was an  of the theatre. The porch area had
          Eclipse, first as a babe in arms with her  opportunity to purchase Screen News,  ochre-coloured tiles, and was often
          mother in the 1940s, who took along a  with a lucky ticket number to be  used as a short cut to Crockford Street
          small bottle of drink in case she cried.  announced by the manager from the  from Pickles Street - great when it was
          Kay’s parents always had the same  stage. He was followed by a stage act,  raining!
          seats D33 and D34, and when she and  maybe a dance or a song, and

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