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16 August, 2021

Still screening movies after 100 years

The long history of movies being screened in the old picture theatre on Fisher Street at Clifton continued on Friday, 6th August - 100 years to the day that the building saw its first movie presented to the Clifton district.

The movie The Jolson Story proved to be a hit with those who took the opportunity to mark the 100th anniversary of the permanent home for movies in Clifton.

Despite the 100th anniversary event being planned at short notice, more than 60 people rolled up to mark the occasion.

Owner of the New Tivoli Theatre, Ruth Hungerford, was alerted to the anniversary by The Clifton Courier after the actual date came to light whilst pages were being researched for the regular “Peeps Into The Past” column.

With the support of a handful of locals, Ruth was able to arrange a screening of The Jolson Story, which was first released in 1947.

Modern day techniques ensured that the quality of the film shown on Friday was of a high standard.

Those who attended said they thoroughly enjoyed the picture and most stayed on for lunch which included a slice of celebratory cake.

During Friday’s event, Ruth Hungerford gave the audience a brief outline of the history of the New Tivoli Theatre, which started life in what was known as Rickert’s Hall with the first movies being shown by a locally-formed company known as the Clifton Picture Company.

Ruth’s father, Hector Hungerford, later acquired the theatre, which was called the Tivoli, but the name had to be changed to the New Tivoli Theatre, as the former had already been taken elsewhere.

The tradition of movies screening in the old building will continue from time to time.

In fact, the next presentation is planned for Saturday 11th September, when Paint Your Wagon will be shown from 10am, to be followed by lunch.

Tickets for that are available for $20 at the Ruby T Gift Shop, next to the theatre.

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