Golden era of theatres captured in old picture

The old Majestic Theatre in Rosewood in the 1920s.
The old Majestic Theatre in Rosewood in the 1920s. Contributed


Majestic Theatre bling in Rosewood.
Majestic Theatre bling in Rosewood. Rob Williams

ROSEWOOD'S rich theatre and cinema history has been highlighted by an old shot of the Old Majestic Theatre.

Located where George's Garage is today, the Old Majestic was operating in 1927 and was an open air theatre run by Frances Boughen and her son Norman.

The Boughen family has a long history in Rosewood stretching back more than 150 years.

The building was torn down and a new theatre was built on Boughen-owned land in John St, the same building where Boughen's Electrical Services is today. The theatre remained being run by the Boughens until the 1970s when it closed.

The facade of the new Majestic is very similar to the old structure Newtown's Russell Boland, who worked across the road from the theatre at the post office, said he could "remember the canvas seats and the films arriving in big containers on the railways"... and the value he got for his money at the new Majestic Theatre.

"I liked the prices," he said.

"You could take five bob (50 cents) and go to the cinemas, have a drink and an ice cream.

"I can also remember the Boughen brothers coming down the aisle with their torches and putting you in your seats."

CENTRE STAGE: Boughen family descendant Noel Boughen out the front of what was the newer Majestic Theatre in Rosewood.
CENTRE STAGE: Boughen family descendant Noel Boughen out the front of what was the newer Majestic Theatre in Rosewood. Rob Williams

Shirley Boughen is a familiar face in Boughen's Electrical now and she recalled how the family was generous with the building and allowed concerts, including the much-awaited St Patrick's concert which was a big thing for the Irish community.

Shirley watched films in the theatre and said it was an excellent establishment.

"It had very good acoustics," she said.

She enjoyed watching quality movies of the period with John Wayne movies a favourite.

The theatre also hosted the premier of the movie Jedda, an Aboriginal story that was the first Australian movie shot in colour.

Cr David Pahlke gave the QT the photo of the Old Majestic Theatre. The old picture theatres didn't survive the advent of TV in small towns. But Rosewood once had a vibrant theatre culture.

In the first decade of the 1900s Carroll's Continentals brought pictures to Rosewood that were likely screened at the showground.

The Lyceum and Pictureland theatres were others that existed in Rosewood in the 1920s.

Topics:  rosewood

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