BALLARAT residents have been asked to dig through their photo albums and scroll through dusty footage to uncover some cinematic gems.
A historic movie of the Regent Cinema is being compiled and film-makers need photographs and footage of the cinema through its many decades on Lydiard St North.
John “Jack” Anderson bought the theatre in 1976 and also owned the city’s two drive-ins. A cinephile, he shot a series of his own films over the years on Super 8 and 16mm film and these movies form the basis of the new feature.
“The Regent is the cinematic heart of Ballarat, and its treasures are in the hands of the movie-going public. We need their help,“ said film maker Erin McCuskey who the Anderson family has commissioned to create the short film.
“I’ve had a look through their archive previously and there’s actually not a lot of moving image footage of the Regent, just little bits and pieces.
“The Regent is a cultural icon of Ballarat, surely everyone must have images.”
Family member John Bourke has worked at the Regent since 1976 and is looking forward to hearing people’s stories and memories of their visits to the cinema.
He remembers Mr Anderson filming around the cinema and is relieved the footage will be preserved.
“We hope that people who have films and photos of The Regent over the years will come to the Box Office and let us know. We will digitise and return all items so nothing is lost,” he said.
After Mr Anderson bought the cinema he spent two years redeveloping the site to its original state.
When interest in cinema grew in later years he again changed the complex to include three screens, and bought the carpark next door.
“We’ve got a fair bit of memorabilia but you never know what people have got in their archives that will add to our rich story,” Mr Bourke said.
Ms McCusky will combine existing footage, photographs and found memories in to a short film which she expects to be finished around September.