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projectionist of the State. For this job,
                                                                               Ross hired an old acquaintance of the
                                                                               establishment, Ollie Jacobson.
                                                                               Projectionist at the cinema in the
                                                                               thirties, Ollie left his position at the
                                                                               Variety Theatrette and returned to his
                                                                               old workplace. He was a brilliant asset
                                                                               to the cinema, with an intricate
                                                                               knowledge of the art of projection.
                                                                               Ollie was also something of a celebrity
                                                                               for carrying out repairs and
                                                                               maintenance on projectors. Cinema
                                                                               operators from all around Hobart would
                                                                               go to Ollie if they had breakdowns, or
                                                                               problems with their equipment. Ollie
                                                                               continued to work at the State until he
                                                                               left to take a job with the state
                                                                               government’s film unit in the nineteen
                                                                                  One of the most significant turning
          An earlier guise; as the Liberty 1935.
                                                                               points for the State Theatre, and for
                                                                               cinemas everywhere in Australia, was
            As a baby, Jacobson’s son Adrian   After three years of partnership,
                                                                               the introduction of television. The first
          sat in the projection box of the Liberty  Holyman and Gourlay reached a
                                                                               broadcasts in Tasmania were in May
          watching the reels spin hypnotically. As  difference of opinion on the direction  13
                                                                               1960. The effects of this were
          Adrian grew up, he spent much of his  of their business. They decided that for
                                                                               devastating for the film industry. In
          spare time with his father, learning the  the cinema to continue operation, one
                                                                               three weeks, the State lost one half of
          art of film projection and developing a  of them would have to leave. ‘The spin  14
                                                    9                          its audience. Instead of paying for a
          deep passion for film. Adrian was also  of a coin’ decided the owner, and
                                                                               sixpenny flick, people were at their
          destined to become an important figure  potentially whether the cinema would
                                                                               local shops watching the television set.
          in the Cinema’s history.          succeed into the future. Luck shone on
            The end of the Second World War  Ross Holyman that day, and it was he  Ross managed to continue operation
          was a major turning point for Australia,  who won the toss.            of the State for a number of years, but
                                                                               by 1973, it was no longer a viable
          and with it came another turning point  During the 1950s cinema was as
                                                                               business. The cinema was placed on the
          for North Hobart’s cinema. In 1948, the  much a staple of entertainment as it had
                                                                               market. A company that saw it as a
          Liberty Theatre was sold. The new  been in the nineteen twenties and                            15
                                                                               furniture store expressed interest.
          owners, Gordon Gourlay and Ross   thirties. People used the cinema much
                                                                               Fortunately for the State, the
          Holyman, planned to renew the cinema  more regularly than they do today.
                                    9                                          community pressured the government
          with renovations and fresh ideas.  According to Ross Holyman’s
                                                                               into keeping it operating, and in 1974,
            To prepare for the theatre’s    estimates, the State Theatre's Saturday
          reopening, new seating was ordered.  night screening attracted a regular  the Film, Radio and Television Board
                                                                               became the new owners.
          When the three hundred and ninety-  audience of more than one hundred and
                                                       9                          The responsibility for running the
          three chairs arrived, they were flat  forty people.
                                                                               cinema went to the Australian Film
          packed, and Ross spent days          The importance of the cinema to the
                                    9                                          Institute, and the renamed AFI State
          constructing and installing them. As  community at that time was confirmed
                                                                               Cinema had its opening ribbon cut by
          tribute to his hardwork, the seats  by the fact that most of these people                      15
                                                                               Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Soon
          remained in the cinema long after he  were known by name to Ross, and had
                                                                      11       after the opening, the cinema closed for
          left. The cinema was also given   their regular seat in the theatre.
                                                                               $100,000 worth of renovations, which
          government approval for a name       Often school groups would rent out                16
          change. On the eighteenth of August  the cinema for special occasions. On  took eighteen months.
          1948 the cinema opened once again,  one of them the film ran over time.  The State Cinema was a new
                                  10                                           concept for Tasmania. It was no longer
          this time as the State Theatre.   Instead of cutting the film before its
                                                                               a strict commercial cinema, because
            The State was the new face for a  end, Ross, who was working as a
                                                                               without belonging to a chain this was
          cinema that had been consistently  projectionist as well as managing the
                                                                               impossible. Instead, the AFI planned to
          serving North Hobart for more than a  cinema, deleted fifteen hundred feet of
                                                                               show films of cultural merit as well as
          decade. This meant that as well as  footage. He skillfully spliced together a         16
                                                                               new Australian films. The first was
          inheriting a rodent infestation, Ross  scene of a train struggling up a hill, to a
                                                                               the Louis Malle classic Lacombe
          Holyman and Gordon Gourlay had also  scene on the last reel of a train moving  16
                                   11                                          Lucien.
          inherited a committed audience.   down a hill. In Ross's words the
                                                                       11         Managers changed regularly in the
          Every afternoon and every evening a  audience “didn't miss anything”,  or
          film was shown, until eventually this  so he thought.                first few years: Paul Coulter, Andy
          increased to three, or even four films a  Ross Holyman had a projectionists’  Trenouth, Tom Giblin and Robert
             9                                                                 Robertson came and left, and by 1979
          day.                              licence, but he was not the principal
                                                                               the position was open again.
                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2007     7
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