In a remarkable story fit for a movie of its own, the Iluka History Group has been fortunate enough to take possession of the two original movie projectors and paraphernalia used in the bygone 1940’s era, when movies were shown in the Iluka Soldiers Memorial Hall, now home to the Iluka Museum.
What’s more, it was only because of some unusual circumstances that this successful outcome has been achieved.
For many months our secretary Janet Hauser has been searching for the original projectors or one of similar vintage that we could use in a nostalgic display recreating the old movie projection room and picture show.
In an earlier story in this newspaper the Group wrote seeking public assistance in finding some of these items for use in the museum display.
The last movies were shown in the Iluka hall by current Yamba cinema proprietor Debbie McCredie’s parents, Merv & Elaine Cousemacker during the early 1970’s. The family very kindly offered us a wonderful old projector which they thought might have been used there, but could not be sure.
Maclean’s Witzig Gallery came forward and offered us a slightly newer Japanese Ikie movie projector as well, which we now have on display. They used to make surfing films in the area and actually showed movies of that ilk in the Iluka hall.
Then, a few months ago Shane Stritch happened to visit the Iluka Museum. Shane is the granddaughter of Frank Clancy, the projectionist, who ran the original Iluka picture show. She mentioned that a Mr. Stuart Everett had come to Iluka in the early 1990’s and purchased the old projectors from the Hall Trust.
The late Mr. Everett was a keen collector of cinematography equipment and left behind a large collection of early projectors, which he exhibited at the Kyogle Cinema which he owned and operated for many years.
So finally, Janet was able to track down Stuart Everett’s son Peter, who resides in Evans Head, and he very kindly has made those same projectors available to us, in memory of his late father.
The two amazing old C & W movie projectors, made in Australia in 1929 by J. Cummings and H. Wilson of Alberta Street Sydney, are electrically powered and operated with carbon arc lamps.
Members of the Iluka History Group have been busy restoring and setting up the projectors in the original projection room in the front of the hall, which is just as it once was.
We wish to extend an invitation to everyone, especially those who can recall those good old days of Jaffas, Fanta and cow boys & Indian movies, to come along during the holiday break and see our new projection room display.