Daylesford Cinema temporarily operating in Town Hall

HISTORICAL SETTING: Daylesford Cinema's committee member David Grigg, president Gina Lyons and Marc Dankers. Photo: Dylan Burns
HISTORICAL SETTING: Daylesford Cinema's committee member David Grigg, president Gina Lyons and Marc Dankers. Photo: Dylan Burns

This school holidays, the Daylesford Cinema group has set up at Daylesford Town Hall, sparking memories and nostalgia for those who remember when the location was used as a picture show and film house in the past. 

According to Gary Lawrence from Daylesford and District Historical Society, Daylesford Town Hall housed a cinema for much of the period between 1910 and 1930. 

During this time, different operators and companies paid the council to hire the hall to show their films, which attracted both locals and tourists who were keen to catch the latest shows at the impressive venue. 

Two of the earliest presenters were Star Photo Play Co. and Alpha Picture Co. Both companies soon established other venues but continued to use the Town Hall to showcase their films at different times. 

Throughout the 1920’s, a Mr Christie showed films at the Drill Hall Pictures and at the Town Hall before he built The Rex Theatre in Vincent Street. In early 1925, the Royal Pictures operated for about six months before it was replaced by the Townhall Pictures Company

HISTORY: A notice advertising a film at Daylesford Town Hall. Photo: Daylesford and District Historical Society

HISTORY: A notice advertising a film at Daylesford Town Hall. Photo: Daylesford and District Historical Society

Films aired in the town were advertised in The Advocate and on vibrant film posters. Going to the pictures was once a treat activity for adults and children alike, with the cinema often filled to capacity when films were shown mid-week and on Saturdays. 

President Gina Lyons said it has been really good to re-establish the cinema.

“This location is really ideal because we are in the centre of Vincent Street. We feel like part of the town again,” she said. 

FILM: An advertisement for The Eighth Wonder in The Advocate. Photo: Daylesford and District Historical Society

FILM: An advertisement for The Eighth Wonder in The Advocate. Photo: Daylesford and District Historical Society