Filming in the Flinders…. in 1906

Posted by on June 28th, 2010


From The Advertiser, Wednesday 5 September 1906


The financial year 1905-6 was the most prosperous in the history of the South Australian railways. Mr. Pendleton, in his annual report, states that the result of the year’s working was a record, the revenue being £76,444 higher than ever be- fore. The net revenue for the year was £85,380, equal to 4.30 per cent, on the total capital expenditure of £13,610,520 on miles open, compared with 3.95 in the previous year, which means that, after paying interest on the public debt for railways, £110,425 was carried to the credit of the general revenue.

“Things seen are mightier than things heard,” and a good cinematographic entertainment, if the pictures are well selected, does more to educate the public concerning the extent and appearance of foreign cities and countries than columns of description, no matter how accurate, could possibly do. Besides the ordinary seeker after amusement might not read the printed matter,” whereas he takes in information by means of the living pictures without being conscious-of learning anything in the process. The old magic lantern, which could only show still life, was a very attractive instrument, but the modern cinematograph is as far beyond it as the electric light is ahead of the tallow dip. Recognising this the Railways Commissioner has come to an arrangement under the terms of which a picture is to be taken from the front of one of the engines running on the hills line from Aldgate to Adelaide. If the weather conditions are favorable, an excellent result should be obtained, for the run down the Mount Lofty Hills into Adelaide is one of the most charmingly picturesque that can be obtained from a railway line in any part of Australia. The film when it has been produced is to be exhibited in Adelaide, and afterwards in various parts of Great Britain. A suggestion has been made that a similar photo- graph should be taken from the front of a locomotive travelling through the Pichi Richi Pass, between Quorn and Port Augusta. It would be possible to suggest many other routes which might be taken with advantage by the operator in search of living pictures of South Australian scenery. There is the run down from the National Park to the city, for instance, or the favorite drive up the Norton’s Summit-road and across the ridge of the hills to Mount Lofty, and thence to Adelaide by the Mount Barker road. No better method of advertising the beauty spots of South Australia could be imagined. Rims-depicting popular trips through distant lands have often been shown in Adelaide, but it is seldom that a really effective local scene is thrown on the canvas. There is little permanent attraction, in the sigh of a street crowd gathered in the hope of getting their photographs into a cinematograph picture although doubtless such; as device helps to draw patronage to a show – but a picturesque stretch of country well reproduced is “a thing of beauty and a joy for ever”.

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