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The thirties make-over brought the trend to ‘streamlined’ surfaces to the Eclipse.

          The night I was there for Show    that the Port had the better films, due
          Business, audience reaction to Johnny  to their Paramount and Metro    Encore, Encore
          Ray’s song ‘If You Believe’ was so  connections. Charles said that the
                                                                                   An early example of a reward for
          enthusiastic, the manager, Mr Rayment  Eclipse showed anything they could get
                                                                                 enthusiasm, was reported in Film
          came on stage at the end of the film  their hands on in his youth.
                                                                                 Weekly in 1930.
          and said that for those who wanted to  As lolly-boy at the Port, Charles
          see it again, the projectionist was  still had to pay his 7d to get in, despite  The Merri North Fitzroy screened
          prepared to replay it.” (See - Encore,  missing part of the show. What was  a Mickey Mouse cartoon to such
          Encore.)                          worse, he had two friends, one who   applause that a slide was shown
                                                                                 informing the audience that the picture
            Kay’s father recalled how his   worked at the Park Albert Park, the
                                                                                 would be re-screened at the end of the
          ushering duties came to an end after a  other at the Eclipse, and they got in for
                                                                                 show. Everyone stayed to watch it
          fall-out with the manager. “It was a  nothing. Smarting one day at the
          poor night. We only had two adults  injustice of paying full price to see two  again.
          lined up, and when the manager came  thirds of the show, he took his case to  This was the Depression of
          in for a head count, he found ten kids  the owner, Councillor Alec Rogers  course, and with the tonic of laughter
          and two adults. He asked me why 12  whose terse reply was, “Well, this ain’t  in their possession, theatre managers
          people were there when only the two  the Eclipse!”                     were pleased to give out a big dose.
          adults had paid for tickets? I told him it  The late Reg. Oldham had projected  Twenty-five years later, Hoyts policy
          was better to have ten non-paying kids,  at the three Port theatres, before he  had ruled out spontaneity, but it could
          than to only have two adults in the  settled in as projectionist at the  still break out. At the Eclipse, an
          theatre. He didn’t like that and started  Ivanhoe, (which opened the same night  astute Mr Rayment knew his audience.
          to tick me off. I told him to keep his  as the Eclipse.) Reg’s view may have  Johnnie Ray, The ‘Prince of Wails’,
          job and walked off.”              been coloured by the comparison with
                                                                                 was the most successful of the
            Arthur never saw any fights or  Ivanhoe, but he remembered all the
                                                                                 entertainers Lee Gordon brought to
          drunks. One evening he walked into the  Port theatres as having “primitive
                                                                                 Australia for his Big Shows. Ray was
          Eclipse and smelled smoke. He     conditions” in their bio boxes, which he
                                                                                 at the peak of his popularity when his
          immediately went to the manager and  considered to be fire-traps. He
                                                                                 screen appearance came to the
          asked him to check any electric motors.  conceded that the Eclipse may have
          The one that worked the curtains had  been the safest of the three.
          seized up and was starting to burn.  Arthur Knox has more positive       Manager Rayment’s announcement
          Arthur thought this incident was the  memories of the projection facilities at  from the stage, “For those who would
          most exciting thing that happened while  the Eclipse in the early thirties, where  like stay to see the Johnnie Ray song
          he worked there.                  he was often the relieving projectionist.  again, there will be a tin in the foyer
            Charles Hall who was once the   He remembers the Simplex projectors  for you to put in a silver coin for the
          lolly-boy at the rival Port theatre,  and Western Electric sound, in what he  projectionist,” lifts this night at the
          agreed that the Eclipse was the best of  regarded as a good size projection  Eclipse into a class of its own.
          the local theatres, but he also thought  room.

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