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the hour, then leisurely walk to the back  the second theatre, then return to the  After one film had been hired by
          door and hear the process repeated - the  first theatre. By this time the second  four theatres over two days, I remember
          difference between the speed of sound  reel would be off the projector,  hearing one of the manager’s say that if
          and the speed of radio waves. The town  rewound and ready for transfer to the  he ever did anything like this again, he
          hall was five miles away.         second theatre, and so on. Sometimes  hoped someone would shoot him!
            Set on a hill above Roma Street was  on the return journey the runner would  Lives of a Bengal Lancer is the film
          an old treadmill, used in convict times to  take back the first reel of film used by  that stands out as my difficult change-
          grind flour. The convicts supplied the  the second theatre.          over. It was to be shared between the
          energy needed to drive the treadmill.  This is easy to describe, much  Lyric and the theatre at Sherwood, six
          This Wickham Terrace building had a  harder to achieve without a hitch, night  miles away on the south side of the
          large ball on top, which was raised at ten  after night. The transport car might  Brisbane River.
          minutes to one o’clock and lowered at  break down, a film might break at the  Transfer plans were discussed at
          precisely one p.m. This happened every  first theatre throwing out the schedule,  length by the two managers. Every
          day, and was considered very reliable.  or someone might simply make a  possible contingency was mentioned,
          (As these events happened over half a  mistake. I remember a time when the  and a solution considered. The first
          century ago, my memory says it was one  wrong last reel was delivered to the  obstacle was the crossing of the
          o’clock, but it may have been noon.)  second theatre, a mistake that caused  Brisbane River, thence car to
            A fellow by the name of Tom Elliott  much bad feeling.             Sherwood. The only way cars could
          was living in the treadmill. Probably his                            cross the river was by a slow vehicular
          job was to attend to the time ball on                                ferry. To avoid using the ferry, the
          top. The television experiment was                                   transporting car was to be parked on
          going to take place there.                                           the opposite side of the river from the
            For a while I had great difficulty                                 Lyric.
          following the conversation. I did work                                  The Lyric was to start with Bengal
          out that what I was looking at was a                                 Lancer, the first reel to be rewound
          scanning wheel, somewhere in the                                     while reel two was running. Then reel
          vicinity of 12 to 15 inches in diameter                              two would be rewound as reel three
          (30 to 38cm), which was driven quite                                 started.
          rapidly.                                                             Waiting outside the bio-box was the
          The wheel had a series of holes about                                person entrusted to carry the reels to
          three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter                              Sherwood. That person was me.
          (0.5cm), drilled in a curved pattern                                    With two reels in a canvas bag over
          from the centre outwards.                                            my shoulder, I did a fast run for nearly
            The result of the transmission was a                               half a mile to the railway bridge. The
          picture hardly recognisable as such.                                 river was a quarter of a mile wide and I
          The subject was meant to be the face of                              did my best, hoping not to meet anyone
          Janet Gaynor, a popular movie star of                                on the narrow walkway. Reaching the
          the day.                                                             car I drove it as fast as it would go. At
            Soon after my 18th birthday I could  Janet Gaynor - the face that launched a  the Sherwood theatre the first words I
          see there was an abundance of     thousand …TV signals.              heard were, “Where have you been?
          projectionists and a shortage of
          theatres. I was able to get employment
          in a local garage and also obtain my
          driver's licence.
            To save on costs, a film would be
          rented by two theatres, for the same
          night. I became a runner, transferring it
          from one theatre to the other. This was
          usually straightforward for a film of
          standard length; one theatre would
          show the film before interval, the other
          after. The length of Interval and with
          the second theatre showing introductory
          reels such as a newsreel and trailer was
          usually plenty of time in which to bring
          over the second feature.
            The problem was with long films,
          for which a newsreel, cartoon and the
          feature were the entire program. In
          these cases, the first theatre would
          rewind the first reel after showing it,
          the runner would pick it up and drive to

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