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Friday, January 15, 2016

When I was a Film Host

When I was an employee of Telecom Australia(now Tesltra) I worked in the Public Relations or Corporate Communications area the last 5 years I was there.
I left in 1992.
Part of my role was as a secretary and organiser of meetings for Telecom's then Regional Consumer Council in Adelaide, South Australia.
This consisted of four meetings per year with various consumer groups representatives who met with Telecom Management.
The idea was to discuss with the Consumer groups Telecom's proposed new initiatives and also listen to their concerns and work out solutions on things like public phone boxes, technical aids for disabled and ageing people, and a range of other things.
My role was to liaise with the groups and prepare agendas and take minutes of the meetings and follow up on some of the business arising.
As part of a publicity venture to make the public aware of what the Council was doing, we decided to run some film mornings and a cup of tea and a biscuit for pensioners.
A free film show.
Nicki Rinaldi shows two ladies to their seat

We engaged a former employee who had been employed as a projectionist when such services warranted having an in house projectionist.
His name was  Algy Skierys and a charming man with much skill as a projectionist.
Sadly he died some years ago now.
We showed actual celluloid films such as "Gone with The Wind" "The War of the Roses" and "Bird on a Wire".
We had two sixteen millimetre projectors and Algy made a a clever device to cut from one reel of film to the other seamlessley during the screening.

The shows were  a very enjoyable activity while it lasted.

All the audiences were very enthusiastic.

We screened the films in Telecom's Theatrerette in the basement at Pirie Street.
My job was to introduce and host the films and morning or afternoon  teas.
I was assisted by Nicki Rinaldi and Di Mortimer.
We gathered our audience from the Telecom customers who had a concession on their accounts.
The Host

There is now a push to preserve celluloid film and the art of projectionists and equipment required. 
There are still some top Hollywood producers using film in their latest blockbusters.
See some links below of interest re the campaigning to preserve the celluloid film industry.

I actually competed a course in 16mm projecting at one stage so I could show films in our Church.
The equipment and projectors we trained on were wonderful working projectors some of which had to be skillfully manually threaded.

Their was a local organisation called the Gospel Film Ministry which was well patronised in its day.

Photographs by Barry Webb

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