Union Pictures/Morrow Pictures/South Townsville Pictures/Civic Theatre

Waterside Workers Hall 1924.

1925 – UNION PICTURES at the Waterside Workers Hall, South Townsville commenced Sat 31 Jan 1925 TDB and last advertised on Sat 30 May 1925.

TDB Sat 31 Jan 1925
Pictures open to-night in the Waterside Workers Hall. South Townsville, with an exceptional programme headed by Eddie Polo In ‘Prepared to Die,’ a thrilling story in which the favourite actor passes through untold of adventures. In support is ‘The Marriage Circle,’ an Ernest Lubitsch production with a mighty case including Adolphe Menjou, Monte Blue, Florence Victor, Marie Prevost, Hary Myers, and Creighton Hale. The box plan to the programme is at the Waterside Workers Hall.

1925 – MORROW PICTURES commenced in Waterside Workers Hall on Saturday 22 Aug 1925 (TDB Fri 14 Aug 1925) and ended July 1926.

TDB Thurs 6 Aug 1925
Morrow Pictures are to commence under the direction of Mr. W. Morrow, at the Waterside .Workers’ Hall on Saturday week, 15th Inst, and will be continued permanently thereafter. Arrangements have been made for the installation of the latest and most up to date plant and for a regular supply of high class pictures. A very strong opening additional attraction has been secured for the first two weeks.
On Saturday, 15th, Mr. Roland Stavely (the producer) will appear personally on the stage with a full studio equipment staff and give an exemplification of the actual studio work in making pictures. He will also take screen tests of young people of both sexes. Another great attraction is to be the taking of Townsville as it is in its daily life and business aspects, and the screening of same at Morrow Pictures. This work is to commence immediately, and the Cameraman will make a start in Flinders Street on Saturday morning and will also take the football match, Townsville v. Cairns on Sunday.

TDB Thurs 13 Aug 1925
Next Saturday the Morrow Pictures will open permanently at the Waterside Workers Hall under the direction of Mr W. Morrow

TDB Fri 14 Aug 1925
Public Announcement.
Owing to the late Arrival of the New Plant on account of the shipping hold-up Opening Date of MORROW PICTURES at Waterside Workers’ Hall will be SATURDAY WEEK, 22nd, Instant.

TDB Wed 19 Aug 1925
A picture taken of Townsville showing the life and movement of the city. In addition to a new star Picture programme, will inaugurate the Morrow Pictures at the Waterside Workers’ Hall commencing Saturday next. In addition there will be another attraction, also provided by Mr. Roland Stavely, who will appear on the stage with his full studio plant to take tests for screen aspirants and Produce a small local drama.

TDB Sat 22 Aug 1925
To-night at the Waterside Workers’ Hall Morrow Pictures will be inaugurated. A new up to date plant has been installed. A fine programme consisting of Dorothy Devor, and Matt Moore ln ‘The Narrow Street.’ The great Elaine Hammerstein in ‘Drums of Jeopardy’, also the latest gazette and sparkling comedies will be presented. In addition, the pictures of Townsville streets and movements lately taken by Roland Stavely will be screened. It is a rare thing to see our own town and our towns people moving about the streets. Roland Stavely will also appear on the stage and take pictures of young people and others who desire to see themselves on the screen. This is a real opportunity for those who desire to see whether they can take up a screen career as the pictures are all shown in Sydney to producers who are seeking actors and actresses for the big number of Australian productions now in preparation.

TDB Mon 24 Aug 1925
Morrow Pictures had a most successful inauguration at the Waterside Workers’ Hall on Saturday evening. Mr. Morrow, in a speech direct to the point, outlined his policy which is to give the very best in pictures regularly at the hall, which will from now on be recognised as a leading house by the film suppliers of Australia, and at which only the latest releases will be shown. He stated distinctly that under no circumstances would any rowdy element be for one moment tolerated. A fine programme from Australasian Films Ltd.- was submitted and included ‘The Narrow Street’ in which Dorothy Devore and Matt Moore were starred. A comedy drama of most appealing interest, also the latest in gazettes and a clever comedy. A rare treat was furnished to the audience in the first instalment of the locally made picture ‘So This Is Townsville.’ which Mr. Morrow arranged for Mr. Stavely to make here, whilst the latter is doing certain commercial cinematography in Townsville. It was indeed interesting to see our own town, football matches, races, etc., on the screen. Mr. Stavely also explained and illustrated how photoplays are made and using local talent in front of the camera and lights, he afforded great instruction, and unlimited amusement to the audience. To-night Morrow Pictures will include the star picture, ‘Drums of Jeopardy,’ with Elaine Hammerstein, also gazettes and comedies. The local picture will also be screened again. On Wednesday there will be another change of programme.

1926 – SOUTH TOWNSVILLE PICTURES opened in Waterside Workers Hall, South Townsville on Sat 21 Aug 1926 (TDB Fri 20 Aug 1926)

TDB Fri 20 Aug 1926
Waterside Workers Hall
Saturday August 21st

Picture patrons are advised of the grand re-opening of the South Townsville Pictures in the Waterside Workers Hall to-night. The theatre is under new management who intend to supply their patrons with the best that the motion picture industry has to offer. For the opening programme the star attraction is “Baree, Son of Kazan”, the famous James Oliver Curwood story. Anita Stewart has the stellar role. In support is a fine melodrama “Midnight Molly”, while in addition there is the best in gazettes and comedies.

TDB Sat 21 Aug 1926
The re-opening of the Waterside Workers’ Hall as a picture theatre takes place to-night, and the management could not have selected a finer programme for the opening. The theatre is under entirely new management, and to-night’s programme is only one of the excellent entertainments to be presented. The opening bill is headed by “Baree, Son of Kazan,” one of James Oliver Curwood’s best known stories of the Canadian outdoors, and the settings are all of the North West. Anita Stewart heads a brilliant cast. A fine supporting feature is “Midnight Molly”, and interesting Pathe and Australian gazettes complete the programme. Popular prices of 1/6 and 9d. will be charged.

1927 – South Townsville Pictures under new management running the same programme as North Ward Pictures Mon 18 Jul 1927 (TDB Mon 18 Jul 1927)

TDB Sat 16 Jul 1927
The North Ward Pictures will present their initial programme at the Scouts Hall to-night. Fred Thompson and Silver King head the bill in ‘The Wild Bulls Lair,’ with ‘The Lone Wolf’s Return.’ featuring Bert Lytell and Billie Dove, as the supporting feature.
(same programme as South Townsville Pictures advert)

TDB Mon 18 Jul 1927
South Townsville Pictures under entirely new management to-night (same programme as for North Ward Pictures above).

1927 – South Townsville Talkies (Pictures) showed a new type of then talkie pictures for the week (TDB Mon 31 Dec 1927). (Sound equipment travelling with the films not installed in theatre permanently)

TDB Mon 31 Dec 1928
Patrons failing to see ‘The Golden Calf’ at the South Townsville Theatre this week will rob themselves of an unheard of pleasure. Gorgeous in production and featuring a cast that cannot be excelled for galaxy of stars, the picture unwinds a perfect hour of comedy. El Brendel, the famous Swedish comedian has never been heard to better advantage. This picture gives him more scope to let go his originalities and for most of the picture has the house rocking with uncontrollable mirth. Then Marjorie White, Jack Mulhall and Sue Carol, she of vaudevillian fame, are also in the cast, while there are a host of others well known to theatre-goers, who help to make this picture the singing, dancing comedy sensation of the year. Keeping an intensely dramatic story ‘flowing’ from start to finish without ever for a moment weakening in its entertainment value may seem to be quite a task, but that is what has been accomplished in ‘The Three Sisters’ which Is the supporting feature. Laid in the romantic setting of a little semi Alpine village in Italy, the picture is a thoroughly  human narrative of a mother and her three daughters at the period of the late World War. How the mother complies with a steady stream of demands and how she is repaid by seeing each of the girls taken from her, forms the theme of the production, which Is ably acted and directed. Louise Dresser plays the difficult role of the mother. Joyce Compton, June Collyer and Addie McPhall portray the trio of daughters. A gazette showing Don Bradman playing his favourite strokes, a talking cartoon, and a Movietone News are also on the programme.

1930 – South Townsville Talkies (Pictures) – grand opening of the newly installed sound equipment on Sat 25 Jan 1930. (TDB Sat 25 Jan 1930)

TDB Sat 25 Jan 1930
The management of the South Townsville Pictures are the latest Townsville entrants into the arena of sound screen entertainers, through the installation of a Western Electric reproducing outfit, and the grand opening of this enterprising theatre in the new era. of motion picture entertainment takes place to-night. The picture chosen for the initial showing is the much spoken of and highly reputed ‘Fox Movietone Follies of 1929,’ which incidentally was the featured attraction at the opening of the gorgeous Regent Theatre in Brisbane. The scope of the films in recording action and voices being so much greater than that of the legitimate stage, the Fox Movietone Follies was expected to provide totally new precedent for entertainments of its nature, and these hopes were fulfilled. Pre-viewers said without reservation that for size, speed and other qualities it far exceeds the limitations of the stage technique. Nine young screen and stage favourites head the list of principals and serve not only to Interpret characters in the story, which concerns backstage life, but lead the many singing and dancing numbers. They are Sue Carol, Lola Lane, Sharon Lynn. John Breeden, Dixie Lee, David Percy, David Rollins, Frank Richardson and Stepin Fetchit. Miss Carol often has portrayed the role of a Jazz mad flapper on the screen. When the talkies came along she was not found wanting, for she has a fetching voice and can dance as well as the most talented Broadway ‘hoofer.’ Her chief specialty in the Fox Movietone Follies is ‘The Breakaway.’ a new song and dance number of distinct originality. Miss Lane was the girl In the Fox Films, ‘None But the Brave’ and ‘Red Wine,’ and in the. talkie, ‘Speakeasy.’ She has a highly pleasing voice and plays the piano well, having composed several pieces for that Instrument. Her main number in the Follies is ‘That’s You Baby.’ Young Breeden entered theatrical life in Vienna, and later was in a Max Reinhardt company in Berlin. He also was in various stock companies and was a Theatre Guild player in San Francisco before becoming a screen actor. He is the owner of the show in the story the Follies tells. Miss Lee is the girl who scored so tremendously on Broadway singing the ‘Varsity Drag’ number In ‘Good News’. In the Follies she Is heard leading the ‘Why Can’t I Be Like You?’ number. Percy, a baritone, studied voice under Emma Eames and under teachers in France before, returning to America to further his musical education under the noted Louis Graveure and to appear in radio and theatre recitals. Rollins will be remembered for his roles in ‘The High School Hero,’ ‘Win That Girl’ and ‘Prep and Pep’. Frank Richardson is a former blues singer of big-time vaudeville and Musical comedy. Stepin Fetchit, anyone who remembers ‘The Ghost Talks’ and ‘Hearts in Dixie.’ Fox Movietone productions, will never forget him. These performers are nine among the two hundred, of all varieties, who make up the personnel of the Follies. In addition there will be a splendid selection of all-talkie supporting items. The box plan ss at Palings until 1 p.m. And after that hour at the theatre office (‘phone 4?3.)

1953 – CIVIC THEATRE – previously South Townsville Talkies was opened on Sat 23 May 1953. (TDB Wed 20 May 1953) [This is NOT to be confused with the present day Townsville Civic Theatre.]

TDB Wed 20 May 1953
(Late South Townsville Talkies)
THE Management of the above Theatre takes pleasure in advising the South Townsville Public, that they will be Opening SATURDAY NEXT, the 23rd May.
It is with great pride that we announce the installation of the very latest in Sound and Projection Equipment supplied by R.C.A. At short notice this equipment could be converted to Third Dimension, the very latest in Motion Pictures.
It is our Intention at first to screen Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays of each week-end. On each night there will be a complete change of programme.
(Late Esquire Theatre).

TDB Fri 6 Nov 1953
The object of the presentation of the 3D film “The House of Wax” at the Civic Theatre, South Townsville, is to give Townsville people an experience most of them never had before, stated Mr. O. N. Wilson, of Brisbane, who is the manager of Warner Bros. in Queensland. At present in Townsville in connection with the first 3D presentation in this area, Mr. Wilson stated that up to the present time very few Australian cities had seen 3D films. The equipment is very expensive to install, Mr. Wilson said. The results have to be seen to be believed. The players seem to come down from the screen into the audience and the audience seems to go up into the screen. The popularity of these 3D films can be realised when one notes that all the major companies are making pictures on this 3D natural vision system. Mr. Wilson prophesised that these 3D films would entirely displace the conventional 2D pictures that one sees now. Mr. J. Mantle, Queensland manager of R.C.A., who is also a visitor to the city, stated that in 3D films there are two films running simultaneously. The machines are interlocked so that they will be seen in perfect step throughout the reel, which contain one hour’s continuous showing as against 20 minutes of the regular film. A Polaroid filter is placed in front of each lens, which gives two images on the screen, each being individually polarised. The viewers, which the audience use, are polarised at the same angle as the filters and allow the audience to view the film as it would be seen in real life.

Comments are closed.