Page 19 - CinemaRecord Edition 3-2003 #41
P. 19

There is a sequel to this story. Some
          weeks later the truck was pulled over in
          Adelaide by the Military Police, who
          wanted to know how and why it was
          fitted with Army-issue tyres! Somehow
          all was sorted, and Benbow
          Amusements continued to screen films
          for the Army. Is there ever an end to the
          trouble a dedicated projectionist will go
          to bring a program to his anticipating
          audience? After the war the Benbow
          Chevrolet was eagerly awaited in many
                                    (1, 5)
          country towns in South Australia.
          Television Bites
            Television transmissions commenced
          in Adelaide in 1959 and immediately
          theatre attendances started to decline. In
          1960, Benbow’s screens had contracted
          to 14 fixed and six touring venues. The
          following year only four fixed screens
          were in operation. Film Weekly did not
          list any touring shows in 1961;
          presumably all had ceased.
            During 1969/70 Bill had only one
          permanent screen - his beloved
          Loberthal theatre. It closed in 1973, but
          is now operating again as an
          independent cinema.
            Bill retired to Minlaton on the Yorke
          Peninsula in 1967, where he planned to
          open a Drive-in. Earth-works were
          started, including preparation for the
          speaker pillars, the screen was ordered
          and a stand-by power plant obtained.
          Bill even added water-cooling to the
          gate of one of his projector models, but
          a decision was made not to proceed.
          The proposed site can still be seen, and  Bill’s last project: A water-cooled projector head.
          the family has one of the modified
          projector heads.
                                            Bill died in February 1994, and with  5. Notes by Bill's sister, Margery
            Bill Benbow continued to screen
                                            him went so much of South Australia’s  Bungey. Undated - probably his
          films well into the 1980s, mainly during  cinema history and experience.  ★  Eulogy.
          holidays, at Institute halls on the Yorke
                                            Acknowledgements:                  6. Everyones, 10 December, 1930.
          Peninsula - Port Vincent, Yorketown,
                                               My special thanks to Don and June  FU SA 791.405.F59
          Stansbury - and occasionally at
                                            Benbow, William Benbow’s son and   7. Everyones, 26 May, 1931.
          Minlaton. Presently JKL Cinemas
                                            daughter-in-law, for their hospitality,  FU SA 791.405.F59
          screen each week at Yorketown - still
                                            information and suggestions to follow-  8. Everyones, 7 January 1931
          using Benbow projectors originally
                                            up. I also thank Colin Kennett, Alan  9. Everyones, 30 December 1931
          installed by WVB himself over 60 years
                                            Windley and Ross King of CATHS.
          ago - a fine memorial to a much                                      10. Everyones, 25November, 1931.
          respected, grand old man of South                                    FU SA 791.405.F59
                                (2)         References:
          Australia's picture theatres!                                        11. Sands & McDougal’s South
                                            1. Don Benbow, son of Bill Benbow
            Bill Benbow is remembered as a                                     Australian Directory 1946
                                            interviewed by author, 6 August 2007.
          fun-loving intelligent man, who was                                  12. M.R. Talbot, 1992, A Chance to
                                            2. Tom Menzies, SA’s last picture
          always good company. He was                                          Read, Libraries Board of South
                                            show man, The News, Adelaide 22
          knowledgeable on many subjects,                                      Australia. ISBN 0 7243 0160
                                            February 1984, p37.
          which made him an interesting speaker.                               Chapter 13.
                                            3. Everyones, 4 December 1929
          He was a founding member, Chairman
          and trustee of the South Australian  4. John F. Ross, 1978, A History of
          Motion Picture Industry Provident  Radio in South Australia, J.F. Ross,
              (5)                           ISBN 959 5752 0 6. Chapters 2, 3, 4.
                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2009 19
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