Ipswich was mad for movies
THE Wintergarden theatre at East St Ipswich was officially opened on February, 10 1925.
In the souvenir programme of that date we read:
"Formal opening of the Wintergarden theatre by the Right Worshipful Mayor of Ipswich Alderman AT Stephenson.
Overture 'Titania (R E Hildreth) - Wintergarden Concert Orchestra under the direction of Mr Reginald Roberts.
Happenings Here and There - Told by Motion Pictures
A woman of Paris featuring Edna Purviance. Written and directed by Charles Chaplin
ENTRACTE - Who cares "Milton Ager"
And then TOM MIX AND TONY THE WONDER HORSE in THE LAST OF THE DUANES from the Novel by Zane Grey.
GOD SAVE THE KING
Complete change of programmes Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday. Special Children's Matinee Saturday 2.15pm
Admission - Dress Circle 2 shillings and two pence, front stalls 1 shilling and seven pence halfpenny, Back stalls 1 shilling and one pence. Children accompanied by adult half price.
Some 50 years after its opening (1925) the Wintergarden Theatre was demolished in 1979.
On July 28, 1971 the heading on one of the stories in the Queensland Times read: "Old theatre makes way for progress". The old theatre was the Alpha in Station Road, Booval and in its heyday not only did it screen silent movies and talkies but the owners Ike Lonie and Jack Donald arranged wrestling and boxing matches, "live" shows and roller skating all of which attracted many spectators even though they had to sit on "hen roosts".
The Alpha Theatre closed down in the early 1960's.
The most outstanding feature of the new Ritz Theatre in Bell St was the fact that it was fully air-conditioned.
There was also luxurious furnishings and architectural treatment gave it an elegant appearance.
The Ritz Theatre continued screening until 1966 when it was sold to Cribb Foote.
The Ritz was demolished in April 1969 to make way for a multi-storey car park.
FIRST IPSWICH THEATRE
The first theatre to be established in Ipswich was on the corner of Wharf and Bremer Streets. It was a long wooden building and had been erected by Mr Martin Byrne. In those early days there were no movies shown - it was all "live" entertainment and may of the people who performed there would come from Brisbane and stay in Ipswich for the time allotted for the several days of performance.