Monday, May 15, 2017

She had the light of battle glimmering in her eyes


Experienced picturegoer
 Mary Walker
From silent films, to 'talkies, to  colour
In the long queue that tensed as the box office opened to book the first reservations for the new Civic Theatre, Moe, on Tuesday, there was the oldest and keenest movie fan in the district, and perhaps, all of Gippsland.

With the lively intention of getting a seat in a position most closely alike to the one she had occupied in the old Mechanics' Institute picture show for 30 years, she had the light of battle, should it be needed, glimmering in her eyes.

Mrs M. Walker, a film-lover to be respected, of the Princes Highway, who was 78 years old on January 20, knew what wanted and got it.

Before being satisfied with picked positions offered by the theatre staff, Mrs Walker several times inspected the actual seats and finally had the assistance of the proprietor himself, Mr Rex Hamilton.

He ensured that Mrs Walker secured an end seat that pleased her, on her chosen aisle, where she will be as contented and considerably more comfortable than in "L-1" in the Mechanics Pictures.

"I think this is something beautiful" said Mrs Walker to an "Advocate" representative, as she looked happily around.

The old lady became a regular customer early in the same seat very soon after the opening of Moe's first picture show; and having seen through 'twenties', occupying the same [seat, she has seen] stars come and go on the silent screen and sat through the development of talkies, and now will see the wide screen usher in a new era.

Asked what films she preferred, she replied, "I like religious pictures, and romantic ones, but I don't think much of those that have a lot of shooting."

So tonight, when Moe sees its first Cinemascope widescreen film in color in the town's new, modern, airconditioned theatre, there will be among those present the little lady who admits her greatest love is the 'movies' and who probably knows as much about them as any picturegoer in Gippsland.

She'll be there alone - but just exactly where, we are not telling.

Source: Narracan Shire Advocate - March 18th, 1955

Mary Walker (nee Mottram) is my great grandmother
Born 20th January 1876, Timor, Victoria, Australia
Married 21st May 1902, Havelock, Victoria, Australia to Ambrose Walker
Died 1st July 1958, Yallourn, Victoria, Australia

This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday
Click for more posts


  1. What a wonderful story. I have to agree with your great grandmother too; I don’t like films where there is a lot of shooting either!

  2. Beautiful! The real power of the cinema came from producing a universal medium for telling stories.

    1. Imagine what she was would think of cinema today?

  3. Replies
    1. She was a very tough lady from all accounts. This story softens hers a little :)

  4. What superb prose....and catchy post title.