Scone Moving Images and the Theatre

Scone Moving Images and the Theatre

Acknowledgement: Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society

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Front Cover ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; The Shiralee; Filming in the Upper Hunter; Scone’s Civic Theatre: Heather Ashford assisted by Mary Woodlands: Federation Publication No 1 Scone and Upper Historical Society Incorporated, Scone NSW 2337 Australia. 1997. ISBN 0 949187 14 3. © Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Incorporated. Designed and printed by Pritchard’s Press Pty. Ltd. 206 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337.


Scone and the Upper Hunter have generated an enthralling histoire of celebrated success in filming and movie production. It’s an engrossing, formidable and impressive list. Included are seminal productions ‘The Shiralee’, ‘Into the Straight’, ‘Smiley’, ‘Smiley Gets a Gun’, ‘The Picture Show Man’, ‘The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith’ and ‘Rats of Tobruk’. The list goes on. All are described in minute detail in this pivotal tome. Stars of the Shows include movie screen luminaries Helen Twelvetrees (Hollywood USA), Peter Finch, Dana Wilson, Rosemary Harris, Elizabeth Sellars and Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell.

Foreword (by Audrey Entwisle)

In an article in The Weekend Australian June 1996, Donald Horne deplored the fact that nothing much was being set in motion to celebrate the centenary of the Australian Commonwealth in 2001. He went on to say that one of the achievements of 2001 could be “strengthening if interest in Australian History”.

We know that many professional historians at the present time are worried about the lack of recognition given to the study of Australian History in schools and that many students are going through school without adequate political and historical knowledge of their nation and culture.

Since its founding in 1965 the Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society has regarded the publication of works of local history a high priority.

We published a Bicentenary Series to celebrate 1988 so it is appropriate that we should plan a 4-part Federation Series to celebrate the birth of Australia as a nation.

This publication is Number 1 of the series but also a companion volume to Heather Ashford’s Scone’s Olympia Theatre which uncovered a wealth of information on the kinds of entertainment in a country town in the first half of this century while this volume describes movie entertainment from the early years through to the present time.

The remaining three parts of the Federation Series will attempt to reveal various aspects of past life in the Scone district and in Donald Horne’s words “strengthening interest” in local history.

“We can none of us hope to understand our present unless we are willing to look enquiringly at our past”. Audrey Entwisle.

D’Arcy Niland

“The Shiralee’

The Shiralee, an Ealing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film produced from the best-selling book of the same name by Australian author D’Arcy Niland, was having its Australasian Premiere at the Civic Theatre, Scone, on Friday 16 August 1957.

D’Arcy Niland; Born 20.10.1917 Glen Innes; Died 29.3.1967 Sydney

“It is a biblical truth that all men have burdens. This is the simple story of a man with a burden, in tis case a swagman with his swag, or shiralee, which happens to be a child.

I have often thought that if all burdens were examined, they would be found to be like a swagman’s shiralee, not only a responsibility and a heavy load, but a shelter, a castle, and sometimes a necessity.”

D’Arcy Niland

The Scone Advocate, Friday 16th August 1957, Page 18