95 Years of Amusu Touring Talkie
In the small town of Manildra sits an old theatre which is still operating today thanks to a dedicated committee and this month they are celebrating something pretty special.
This month marks 95 years of Allan Tom OAM, the Amusu Touring Talkie which started in 1923 and has continued until this very day.
“Allan drove his truck with projector on the back and backed up to tents and halls around the Central West. Len Townsend was the projectionist and mechanic for well over 50 years and many other locals had worked for Allan on the tours and at the Theatre in Manildra.
“Allan as he was known passed away in 1995 and his daughter Lyn and husband Jeff continued on until they sold the Amusu and building to the town. It is now the responsibility of a committee,” said President of the Amusu Theatre, Joan Stevenson.
After touring for a number of years Allan then established the Theatre in Manildra in 1936 as well as Theatres in Cudal, Millthorpe, Tullamore and Peak Hill. His last film was shown in 1995 at the age of 93.
Allen was a pioneer of the Australian Motion Picture Industry and his efforts were rewarded in 1993 when he was awarded the 'Order of Australia' Medal for his contribution to the entertainment industry.
The Theatre has been operating continuously since the 1930s in the purpose-built art deco building and they still have some rare findings.
“The Amusu Theatre is an icon for Manildra, everyone appreciates the Theatre being here, we have our regulars, but our main audience are from further afield from Parkes, Orange, Molong, Eugowra and more.
“We still have our carbon arc projectors in working order but due to the change in how movies film we now rely on DVDs.
“We have the original seating, including the ‘love seat’, original flooring, original movie posters and some other special touches,” said Joan.
Films are screened every third weekend with the next screening being the Movie ‘Barefoot’ on December 15 at 7.30pm and December 16 at 1.30pm. For a nostalgic or unique theatre experience, head along to one of their events to support them as they head towards celebrating 100 years.