Newspaper Articles

1910 Tues April 26 Cairns Post
Tenders. Mr. C. D. Lynch, architect, calls for tenders for the erection of a public hall at Mossman to be erected for R. Lunn. Esq. Tenders will be received up to noon on May 2nd.      

1910 May 12 Port Douglas & Mossman Record
The public hall which Mr Richard Lunn proposes to build near his licensed premises, the Post Office Hotel at Mossman, will be built on 10 foot blocks. Its total length will be about 85 feet and width 30 feet.

The total clear space for dancing will be 50 feet by 30; stage 15 ft deep by 30 wide; proscenium with 22 ft. opening 13 ft. high. There will be two dressing rooms at the back of the stage, each measuring 12 by 9 ½ ft. and two cloak rooms in front of the hall measuring 9 ½ ft by 9 ½ ft, and a vestibule of the same dimensions, taking up the balance of frontage. Doors will open out from the cloak room into the hall as well as into the vestibule. The side walls of the hall will be about 14 feet in height. A large lantern in the roof will provide for light and ventilation and about four large windows at each side of the hall will materially assist towards these much desired advantages in a hot climate. Wide steps will give approach to the front entrance of the hall, and steps will also be placed at each side and at the back. The hall will be erected at the mill side of the hotel, and over thirty feet away from it.

At one time the idea was entertained of erecting the hall on the opposite side of Mill street and facing the hotel, but arrangements for the leasing of the desired land could not be satisfactorily arranged as quickly as was necessary.

It is the intention of Mr Lunn to light the new hall by means of the ‘De Laitte’ (? hard to read) air gas system, which he said to be the cheapest and safest illuminant, being non-explosive, and should his neighbours require it he will supply them from the machine used by him for distributing the gas. The cost is said to be one-fifth of that of acetylene.

Estimates for the erection of the hall were to have closed with the architect, Mr C. D. Lynch at Cairns last Thursday, but, owing to the very busy time contractors are having in Cairns at present, none were able to tender so as to comply with conditions. We understand, however, that arrangements are now being made of a satisfactory nature for its erection.

1910 Aug 2 Port Douglas & Mossman Record
Mr R Lunn’s new hall at present in course of erection alongside the Post Office Hotel, Mossman is now showing signs of approaching completion. The framework is all up, and the roofing, flooring and weather boards are now being put on, so that about three weeks should see the place finished and ready for hiring purposes. Operations have unavoidable been deterred through want of timber for ground plates and framework, but now better facilities are offering, and the timber is coming to hand daily, giving the contractors more opportunities of showing their workmanship.

1910 Sep 13 Port Douglas & Mossman Record
(this could be the first attraction in the new hall) (she was 18)
Miss Gladys Moncrieff’s Star Pictures and Singers Company opened to a grand audience on Saturday last the 10th instant, in Lunn’s new Coronation Hall, Mossman.

The pictures being new to Mossman were greatly enjoyed, and were splendidly screened by Mr Moncrieff. The new hall is blessed with the possession of fine acoustic properties which enable a voice like Miss Gladys Moncrieff’s to be heard to full advantage and pleasing perfection. She was in excellent voice, and chose as her opening song “Once”, a song that showed how beautifully she can use her high soprano voice in a large hall with a piano tuned to concert pitch, every note being clear and her enunciation perfect and distinct, her charming presence adding further enhancement to her popularity in the eyes of a critical audience.

During the evening she was made the recipient of a lovely basket of flowers, beautifully decked with satin ribbons of many colors,[sic] and, for an encore number, sang “The pretty things you say, dear” and “The merriest girl that’s out”. Among the illustrated items she sang were “I can’t forget you, another (mother?) dear” (?) and “We’ll nail our colors to the mast”. She was encored after each song, and delighted everyone in her large audience with her superb vocal power. The entertainment is claimed to have been one of the best that has ever been given on the Mossman. The company gave a second performance on Monday evening.

1911 March 20 Cairns Post
Last Thursday night – (16 March) Lunn's Coronation Hall at Mossman, a practically new building was totally ruined.  

Lunn's Hall, Mossman was a fine place of amusement, with floor 40 by 30, and also stage and dressing room. The building was erected about six months ago.

1911, Apr 18 Port Douglas and Mossman Record
Mr George Nielson of Mossman has been entrusted with the task of restoring to its original shape Lunn’s Coronation Hall, Mossman, a fine and practically new structure which collapsed during the recent cyclone.

1911 Nov. 21 Port Douglas & Mossman Record:
At Lunn’s Coronation Hall, Mossman, on Thursday night last, a nice gathering collected to take part in a euchre tournament for the purpose of aiding and assisting the funds of the Mossman School of Arts. There were thirteen tables occupied, and owing to having not sufficient lady players, a couple had to be impersonated by gentlemen.

Mr Stanley Barnard, acting in lieu of a lady, secured first prize – a lady’s handbag. Mr H. W. Skillman, the successful gentleman, was presented with a silver mounted pipe. Mrs Blackburn and Mr. Kilgour received the booby prizes. The institution will benefit to the extent of £5 12s 6d by the tournament.

1912 June 11 Port Douglas & Mossman Record
Picture Show for Mossman
We understand that Mr Richard Lunn (can’t read 2 lines ) Mr E. C. Hannaford, well known photographer with his dedicated studio Mossman, is arranging for picture shows to be given with their own apparatus and films in Lunn’s Coronation Hall Mossman during the coming crushing season, with an occasional visit to Port Douglas.

1912 Mon 11 Nov The Northern Miner (Charters Towers) p.2
The Northern Photo Play Company, an institution of local enterprise, caters for the public at Mossman by providing moving pictures every Saturday night. So far they have received a fair amount of patronage, and appear to be engaged in a profitable business.

1913 April 30 Cairns Post
On Friday evening of last week a black snake, about 4ft long was disturbed in front of Lunn's Hotel, Mossman. Mill Street. Attention was first attracted to it by ... (hard to read). A man In the vicinity gave it a blow to the head with a bottle.

1913 July 11 Cairns Post
Our local Photo-play Co are about to install an electric light plant, and we shall then have an up to date cinematograph entertainment for two nights in every week. The Co have been well patronised, hence the encouragement which prompted the outlay for the new lighting. The venture is bound to be successful and the Co. deserve all the patronage for their enterprise.

1913 July 15 Port Douglas & Mossman Record:
Mossman Cinema Enterprise
There was landed at the s.s “Mourilyn” at Port Douglas yesterday (Monday) a complete electric lighting plant consigned to the Northern Photo Play Co, a Mossman syndicate controlling a picture show at Lunn’s Coronation Hall, the two most prominent members of which are Mr R. Lunn, licensee of the Post Office Hotel and proprietor of the Coronation Hall, and Mr E. C. Hannaford, the well-known photographer of “The Hannaford Studio” Mossman.

With this electric lighting plant duly installed, the Northern Photo Play Co. confidently expect to be able to place before their patrons a picture show equal to the best, and better than the rest and their enterprise is assuredly deserving of the fullest measure of support.

1915 March 13 Cairns Post
Last week Cooks’ Pictures paid a visit to the town, and showed in Lunns Hall on Thursday and Friday nights to large audiences. On Friday a cinematogram was taken at O’Brien’s Corner (Exchange Hotel) and was shown on Friday night. The picture came out very well and several townspeople showed prominently on the screen. A picture taken of the Mossman mill and employees in 1909 was also shown as was one of Port Douglas, showing the ss.Mourilyn lying at the wharf.

1915 Sat April 24 Cairns Post
The motor car ordered by Mr. R.Lunn arrived last week, and has had several very successful runs round the district since its arrival.

1917 Oct 13 Cairns Post
Mossman Notes
Hospital Saturday 6th inst was an ideal day for the sports which were held in the Mossman State school grounds in front street. Needless to say, there was a goodly attendance of people on that occasion about 120 coming from Port Douglas and the Mowbray.

Extra train service had been requisitioned for the visitors, who wound up the night by patronising the pictures shown by the Northern Photoplay Company in Lunn’s Hall, in aid of the hospital funds. Refreshments were sold during the afternoon in the vicinity of the sports and in the evening the same performance was repeated in front of the hall while the pictures were being shown.

1918 Feb 16 Cairns Post
Mr. R. Lunn, of the Post Office Hotel, is having a side verandah added to Coronation Hall which is on his allotment near the hotel. A soda fountain, bas also been installed in the hall. This will be a great convenience to thirsty mortals on picture nights, as they will be able to quench their thirst without going outside the hall. On a very wet night, also this will prove an inestimable boost to folks who patronise the pictures

1918 Mon 25 Feb Cairns Post p.3
Mr. E. C. Hannaford, who for several years had a photographer's studio and fancy goods shop in Mill Street, left the district at the beginning of this week, accompanied by Mrs. Hannaford, for Port Douglas, en route for the south. Mr. and Mrs. Dick Zeigler, a newly-married couple, have purchased Mr. Hannaford's stock-in trade, having taken possession early in this month.

1918 Sept 17 Cairns Post
' MOSSMAN NOTES (For the Post'' and "Herald.")
Private Peter Christensen, the returned soldier who was welcomed home by the residents of Saltwater last week, was tendered another welcome on Friday evening last' by the recently-formed "Welcome Club" of Mossman. Lunn's Coronation Hall was the scene of the evening's gathering, and the young soldier, minus a leg, had a very warm reception.

…..Kerosene has almost petered out here at last, and candles are being largely used by people desirous of burning the midnight oil (to use an Irishism). However, in comparison with people in those western towns where slush-lights are gladly made use of till such times as kerosene can be obtained. Most of the hotels here are lit up with Delco-light, or acetylene gas, and Lunn's Hall is always supplied with electric light.

1919 Mon 29 Sept Cairns Post p.2
The Northern Photo Play Company hold open-air pictures at the back of Lunn's Coronation Hall twice a week, and I believe they are well attended in spite of an occasional drizzle which tends to damp the clothes of the picture-goers more than their ardor.

1920 Tues 7 Dec Cairns Post p.7
Owing to the fact that there is no local paper in our district, a very difficult matter is to properly advertise coming events. Practically the one and only medium is by putting an advertisement on the screen at the Northern Photo Play.

Several people do not frequent picture houses, and consequently do not know of all that is about to happen. In order to ameliorate matters, the School of Arts Committee went to the trouble of having a large notice board erected in front of the School of Arts, in Mill Street.

1925 19 Jan DSC Minutes
Sunday Entertainment
The Chairman moved and Cr Cook seconded that the request of the Northern Photoplay Co to hold Sunday night Picture Entertainments after Church hours be granted.

1929 July 6 Cairns Post
MOSSMAN, June 29. On Thursday evening a large number of Mossman residents assembled in Lunn's Hall to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Kenny, on their visit to the district. The gathering took the form of a social evening and dancing was indulged in by the young people, the music being supplied by Mrs. Denford and Mrs. A. Kenny (piano), Mrs. Evans (violin) and Mr. J. Walsh, Mareeba, played extras.

During the evening Mrs. J. Donovan's cultured mezzo-soprano was heard to advantage in Sanderson's "Break of Day," a song well suited to the singer's voice.

Miss A. Lunn sang a more modern song, entitled "Sleep and Roses" (Tate), in a charming manner. In both instances the accompaniment was played by Mr. F. Franken.

In a break between the dances Mr, W.S. Johnston welcomed the guests and said: "I can extend our heartiest congratulations to Mr. Kenny and the Moore Government. We have secured a good man to represent the Cook electorate. He will be sure to fight our battles for us in Parliament as he has proved himself a great battler in the recent campaign. As an energetic member he is sure to go far in his political life. I hope that he will have long life and prosperity and represent our electorate for many a long day.''

Mr. Kenny then addressed the gathering as follows: Mr. Johnston, ladies and gentlemen, I wish to thank you for your kind reception here tonight. On my last visit here I did not receive as good a welcome, bin then I was fighting a political battle. Now that I am a member of Parliament I would like to tell you that whether you voted for mc or not, 1 represent you ail. I do not represent only one class or section, but the whole, of the people of the vast Coo« electorate. Anything that you ask me for will do my utmost lo obtain. I told you this when I was on campaign, and the Government have proved this to be the case.

Mi Atherton and Mr. Duffy will stand by me for the development of North Queensland. The carrying out of our poljcy will result in progress, and North Queensland will move ahead. I would like to thank all who helped me to win the seat, all the workers the ladies' committee, and the various committees that worked so well during the campaign. I fully appreciate the good they have done, and I trust that the work will be carried on, and that next election will have the same result. I recognise the fact that in my present position by the will of the people.

I have also to thank the organiser, Mr. McDonald; I was sorry that he was not able to be more in this district. He and his wife rendered the greatest of assistance to me throughout the campaign. It was one factor in the winning of the sea I tried to do my duty, but without the organisation I would have had no chance. I have to apologise for the absence of Mr. Atherton.; he was not able to get tot Mossman owing to a large amount of pressing business he had to attend to, and he has to present in Brisbane on July 5th.

In my next visit to Mossman I will bring a Cabinet Minister with me. : in fact, this visit of mine is only a flying trip, as I want to get around as many parts of the electorate as possible. In my next visit I hope to speak Miallo, Cassowary and Mowbray well as the Daintree. I hope, that you will keep on working until the the election, and that the results will the same. Once again I thank you
Dancing was continued, and later on a dainty supper was served by the ladies in the supper room downstairs. Dancing was continued until a late hour.

1929 29 Oct Cairns Post
In Mossman trading circles the word "Lunn's" stands for a lot. It means the local theatre and picture show, the big garage and Ford sales shop, also the place where the tractor and motor owner may secure all he requires in accessories, tyres, tubes, oils and free air. In fact the Lunn family, including its genial; head, Mr R. Lunn, as one of the oldest families on the Mossman, know what the Mossman people want and nothing is too much or too little for them to handle. They have linked their fortunes to Mossman and the link is a strong one.  

1929 Nov 26 Cairns Post
Mr R Lunn asked permission to erect an awning over the footpath in Mill-street, Mossman. He pointed out that it would be a cantilever verandah and a such would be an acquisition to the town. On the motion of Crs Rex and Johnston, it was decided that permission be given.

1930 March 28 Townsville Daily Bulletin
Mossman Notes
The local photoplay is installing a pantograph – as yet the Talkies are beyond the ambitions of Mossman. (Should be phonograph says Kevin Brownlow, UK film historian)

1931 Jan 29. Cairns Post
MOSSMAN, Jan. 28. The Post Office Hotel was destroyed by fire at 3 o'clock this morning.
The first to waken in the hotel was Percy Dawson, the son of the proprietor. He was almost suffocated by the smoke that came from the flames. The boarders were then awakened and left the burning building.

On the west side are Skillman's store and the Post Office. Willing hands threw water on the store and the postal officials removed all the mail matter and fittings from the office and splashed water on the sides of the building. Skillman's store had a shutter burnt, but no other damage was done. Lunn's hall and the garage also escaped, as the workers were also active on the east side. Had Lunn's hall ignited a great deal of damage would have been done, as Mellick's store and the mill cottages adjoin.

The Dawson's lost all but the clothes of the children. The stock and furniture were insured for £700, but as the till was lost with a considerable sum of money, the loss is heavy. A temporary bar will be erected. Mrs. Pace, the owner of the building, is in Melbourne, and no word tan be obtained re insurance.
The night was remarkably still, otherwise there would have been an immense conflagration in spite of the efforts of the fire fighters.

1931 May 11 Cairns Post p.11
Mossman Notes
Mossman May 8
The opening of the Mossman Talkies took place on Tuesday (i.e. 5th May) before a packed house. Mr S B. Andreassen (chairman of the Douglas Shire Council) officially opened the show and congratulated Mr. Lunn on his enterprise. He was supported by Mr. C. J. Crees, manager of the Mossman mill. The plant, which has been installed by Mr B. Cole of Western Electric Co. is the same as that used in the principal theatre in Sydney, Brisbane and other Queensland cities, including Cairns.

The hall has been renovated to be in keeping with the costly installation. The programme submitted gave great satisfaction, and visitors to the district and those who have heard talkies in the south are loud in praise of the excellence of the plant. To promoters of local entertainments (and to touring shows) it may be of interest to know that the screen can be moved back to the rear of the stage. (PB – for stage shows)
(Cop Hingley says the films were “Words and Music” and “Tanned Legs”

1932 Jan 22 Cairns Post
A dance which was to be held in Lunns Hall last Friday night to raise funds to provide electric fans for the hall was abandoned as very few people turned up.
The talkies were shown last night despite the heavy rain and poor attendance.

1932 June 6 Cairns Post
The two new hotels have been granted. (hard to read) ... and the Post Office Hotel was opened on Tuesday night.   From 7 to 8 the licensee (Mr. J. R. Dawson) dispensed free drinks to the public.

The new hotel is a fine concrete building, and was erected by Mr. Page, the architects were Hill and Taylor, of Cairns, and the contractor Mr. J. J. Riley. The building has been elaborately furnished throughout with maple and oak suites. On the ground floor the dining rooms, bar, and lounge, are situated. Upstairs, there is a large number of single and double rooms, a lounge, and ladies' and gentlemen's bathrooms. The septic system is installed.

A separate building houses the hotel staff. The rooms are lofty and spacious, and the stories, are connected with an oak stairway. Altogether the building and furnishing is a credit to the town.   

1934 March 14. Cairns Post

MOSSMAN, March 13  
A message was received late on Sunday night from Willis Island that this district was in the track of the cyclone. In the morning at dawn, squally showers fell.  The warning was issued by the police early in the morning. As the children gathered to attend school the wind was blowing south-east and freshened up at 9 a.m.

Branches of trees started snapping. Bond's store and N.G. Buchanan's became unroofed.

Prior to 10 a.m. the wind increased intensely and veered from east to west with intensity, when the principal damage was caused. O'Brien's Exchange Hotel lost its balcony and the main building roof on the Mill-street frontage, also the lattice of the verandah fittings. Jack and Newell's store lost the front verandah, and damage was done to the petrol bowsers, The drapery was badly damaged by rain waters. At Kildea's Blue Bird Cafe the windows were smashed and the contents (confectionery) spoiled.

The entire roof of Neill's Post Office Cafe was lifted bodily and smashed into the side of the Post Office residence.  

It broke a window at the Morse instrument table in the main office, which was occupied by an operator a few minutes previously. Impelled by the strong wind, rain, beat into the window. The postal staff worked hard putting all the movable articles into a dry place. The telephone switchboard became wet, and most of the telephones were out of order.

The torrential rain was accompanied by wind and sheets of water, driven at 40 miles per hour, penetrated every crevice and where the iron was lifted, poured down on the furniture. At noon the wind abated a little and died down at 2 p.m. The townsfolk then ventured out and viewed the streets inundated with flood waters and strewn with galvanised iron, timber and' other wreckage.    

The Mossman River rose 14 feet over Foxton bridge and Cassowary Creek twelve feet. The outside areas have been affected, but owing to the floods having broken the telephone wires, little reliable news of the damage can be ascertained.

The cane has been flattened, and in some cases, uprooted. It is feared that the damage has caused a 25 per cent reduction in the crop.

During the blow the police and the Shire Engineer (Mr. Ward) patrolled the town, removing persons from houses deemed to be dangerous to places of safety.
Mossman mill lost a large quantity of iron from the roof.

A feature of the wind was the lack of the customary half hour's lull which characterised all other cyclones in this district. The wind died down naturally, and certain alarmists had no ground fair stating that the wind would return that night, thereby causing needless anxiety.

A report from Mossman Beach states that a number of houses were damaged and that one house was blown out to sea. There were no injuries to any residents in that centre.  

Port. Douglas did not get badly damaged.    
Carpenters are busy repairing the damaged buildings. The rain continues to fall. Over eleven inches fell in the last.24 hours. Road communications are cut off from the out side districts owing to the flooded rivers.

1934 Aug 13 Cairns Post
Ignited. Petrol Bowser. Hall in Peril, Mossman August 12

Lunn’s hall picture theatre narrowly escaped being destroyed by fire last night. When a car was being filled at a bowser outside, a carelessly thrown match allegedly ignited the petrol fumes, which caused the bowser to be set on fire. The chief damage was done to the window of the filling station, which is outside the hall. The occurrence took place just after the pictures were over and a willing bucket brigade soon quenched the fire, which was extinguished in about 20 minutes.

Carrie O’Reilly received a burn on the foot caused by the lighted petrol. A patent extinguisher was used to put the fire out on the bowser, and water to put it out where it had caught the building. The bowser has been put out of commission.

1935 Oct 12 Cairns Post
Mr. Richard Lunn, having disposed of the Mossman Garage business has to request that all accounts outstanding be paid at once. Otherwise legal proceedings will reluctantly be taken.

1946 27 Nov p.7 Cairns Post
A vote of thanks and appreciation to Mr. R. Lunn for his generosity over a number of years in making the hall available gratis for farmers meetings, was carried by acclamation. Thanks were also expressed to the new owners, Northern Theatres Ltd. for their offer of the use of the hall in the future.

1944 June 7 Cairns Post advertisement
Owners of Receivers requiring service may leave their sets during this week with MR. R. LUNN, PHOTOPLAY THEATRE. These will be serviced by a competent serviceman and must be collected on Monday, June 12. This Service is being arranged and provided by  
FRANK MOODY, Phillips Radio. SYDNEY H. TURNER, S.T.C. Radio

1947 Thurs 5 June Cairns Post p.5
The Roxy Theatre at Atherton, valued at about £12,ooo was destroyed by the fire which broke out early yesterday morning. The fire also gutted Leinster Bros. shop and V. G. Young's grocery shop which adjoined it. The hair dressing shop conducted by Miss Jean Cumming and the Roxy Milk bar which were portion of the theatre building were also destroyed.  

In a little over two hours the fire had destroyed the buildings, and only the valiant work of the Atherton Fire Brigade saved half of one side of the street, according to a witness to the blaze.

Practically none of the theatre equipment or the stock in the shops was saved, though the furniture of the manager of the theatre (Mr. Burman) who lives in the same building, was removed before it was damaged greatly by the flames. The 80-year-oid father of Mrs. Barman was also living on the theatre premises at the time the blaze broke out, but he was awakened when the fire was noticed and left safely.

It is believed that Leinster Bros. had received new stock recently. Almost all of it was destroyed. Narrow laneways on either side of the buildings destroyed helped to save the rest of the block, said an Atherton resident yesterday.  

Separated from the Roxy Theatre by a lane was the large concrete Pink's building. A part wood, part galvanised iron structure is on the other side of the laneway, next to   Leinster Bros. There are two other old wooden buildings in the street, near to where the fire occurred.

It is estimated that the Roxy theatre and equipment were valued at about £12,000.

Four hoses were used by the brigade in fighting the fire.      

Mr. Arthur Leinster of Leinster Brothers is superintendent of the brigade. Another of the three brothers was at Mossman with his wife and family when the fire occurred. There was plenty of water available to fight the fire.

Hundreds of townspeople turned out to see the fire and assisted in moving furniture and other fittings from the nearby buildings threatened by the blaze. Early yesterday morning Main street was cluttered with material moved from these places. This was moved back during the morning.

The Roxy theatre cafe was destroyed also, and little equipment saved.

1949 May 24 Cairns Post

MOSSMAN. MAY 18. A large crowd attended the screening of a picture programme in the Mossman theatre of Far Northern Theatres Pty. Ltd. on Sunday evening in aid of the Cairns Aerial Ambulance Fund. Mr. J. S. Morris managing director, who was accompanied on the stage by the Mossman manager, Mr. K. Mclean, Mr. Owen Whittick, Mr. G. Owens (president of the Cairns Ambulance) and Mr. R. D. Rex (chairman of the Douglas Shire Council) said that the people bad responded magnificently.

Some ticket results yet had to come in, but the takings would realise at least £64. On this would be paid the Governmental £1 for £1 subsidy. This was the largest house which had been shown on any part of the circuit for this fund.
Mr. Rex said that Par Northern Theatres and Mr. Morris deserved every commendation for their charitable co-operation in support of funds such as this.

With the realisation that there were ambulances available to be on call in case of accident or Illness women-folk had confidence to go to out-back places and settle down with their husbands and family, and anything to assist in keeping these organisations going was deserving of every commendation.

1952 Oct 1 Cairns Post
An inspection of the Photo-play Theatre, continued the report, (by Health Inspector Mr. R 8. Jamieson) disclosed a number of structural defects which were detailed, and which in the opinion of the inspector, made the building unsafe. He had been in touch by telephone with the general manager of the Far Northern Theatres Ltd who had said that anything the inspectors requested would be carried out immediately. As the state of the awning was dangerous the local manager had been instructed to have it supported to prevent the awning from collapsing.

1953 Fri 4 Sept Cairns Post
The building of three new pictures theatres in the area served by the Far Northern Theatres Ltd. was decided on at a recent meeting in Cairns of the directors.
The general manager for the group Mr. W. B. Moloney said yesterday that the new theatres would be built In Mareeba, Babinda and Mossman at an overall cost of between £75.000 and £85,000.

Each of the three would be constricted of steel and concrete and would be "ultra modem in their appointments and equipment.

A feature would be the provision in each of the three for the later addition if necessary for the special prosceniums and other equipment necessary for the screening of three dimensional films.

Mr. Moloney said that the building costs quoted were purely tentative and took no account of fumishing and mechanical equipment.  

In addition to its building programme, the board had also decided to continue with its plans for modernisation of its existing theatres, notably the Plaza on Mulgrave-road, and the Rex in Sheridan-street, Cairns North. The cost of this would work out to about £2000 on each of the theatres treated.  

1953 15 Sept Cairns Post
About 150 people attended at Mr. P. S. Lunn's new garage and lubritorium premises on Saturday morning in answer to his invitation to the offlcial opening of the new premises. In addition to local residents motor garage representatives from other towns were also in attendance, and Mr. Harvey of Brisbane, represented the Ford Motor Company.

The chairman of the Douglas Shire Council (Cr. R. D Rex) performed the ceremony of opening the new premises. He referred to the association which Mr. Lunn had had firstly in association with his father, Mr. R. Lunn, and latterly on his own account, with the motor garage and service station business in Mossman going back over a period of 28 years. He congratulated Mr Lunn on the faith in the Moss man district which bad led him to the construction of a fine new building, equipped with improved facilities including the new lubritorium, and be wished him success in his new premises.

Congratulations were also expressed by Mr. Harvey, and a telegram from the manager of the Ford Motor Company m Brisbane was also read. Mr Lunn responded, and the gathering was then taken altbough the premises to the workshop area, where refreshments were served.

The new premises are situated in Front-street alongside the Court House. Mr. Lunn previously had occupied premises in the Photoplay building in Mill Street.

1954 April 7 p.6 Cairns Post
The (DSC) meeting resolved that the buildings specified by the Health Inspector be condemned, and that the Clerk initiate proceedings accordingly. It was further resolved that Far Northern Theatres be given six months to open a new theatre, as the council intends to close the existing theatre after that time if a new one is not built.

1954 Wed 7 April p.5 Cairns Post
It was hoped to have a new picture theatre in Mossman within about four months, the general manager for Far Northern Theatres Ltd. (Mr. W.M.Moloney) said yesterday.  Mr. Moloney said the building of the new structure depended on the availability of suitable material particularly a type of pre-fabricated steel, which had to be used for the supports. This steel had been on order for some time. The company also intended to change the name of the proposed new theatre from "The Photoplay" to "The Rex," Mr. Moloney said.      

The proposed new building was planned to hold 700 at a sitting and should take care of the theatrical needs of the town and district for some years to come, Mr. Moloney said.

The company also planned to build a new theatre at Babinda and plans for this structure already had been prepared. Tenders for the work would be called soon.
Mr. Moloney pointed out that the building of new theatres was not entirely a matter for the individual or company proposing to erect them. The Queensland Films Commission had to be consulted on the matter and had a big say in what would be done. It was the commission which granted the necessary licence and permit to build, without which no 'work could be done on any such project. Mr. Moloney said.

1954 May 24 DSC Minutes
Moved that FNT be written to and advised that two months of the six given to construct a new theatre had elapsed and nothing concrete had yet been received from them. Also that it is Council’s definite intention to close the old theatre at the expiration of six months.

Opinion – Theatre
Local Government assn. regarding closure of old theatre
Moved that FNT be asked to present plans by the November Council meeting.
Moved Cr Quaid that FNT be called upon to show cause why their present theatre should not be demolished.

Far Northern Theatres
Mr W Maloney (sp. Moloney) waited on the Council regarding a site for a proposed new theatre in Mossman. Mr Maloney aid that despite advertising, a suitable site other than the site next to the Exchange Hotel in Mill St had not been obtained. He presented several sketches of the theatre next to the Hotel and stated that he would build a theatre of fireproof materials on the site.

After a general discussion with members Mr Maloney thanked the Chairman and retired from the Chamber.

The Chairman invited Mrs Lund to the meeting to discuss the possibility of selling her land at the corner of Mill and Thomas Sts to the company as a theatre site. Mrs Lund informed the Chairman that she would consider the proposal and let the Clerk know her decision.

The following applicants are to be issued with building permits on the motion of Crs Berzinski and Quaid
Far Northern Theatres – Picture Theatre
Theatre: Moved that the appropriate Minister, Attorney General, Picture Theatre and Films Commission, Hon H H Collins and Mr H A Adair all be written to regarding the state of the existing picture theatre and copies of Council’s letters to Far Northern Theatres during the past ten years in an endeavour to have a new theatre erected, be put in front of the abovementioned persons and bodies. Films Commission be requested to withdraw license for present theatre.

1956: Australasian Cinema 15 Mar 1973:
The industry still faced many problems. The continued presentation of a mixture of movies, some in black and white and some in colour, on a square postage stamp screen had been taken for granted for many years, with a resulting lessening of interest by the paying customers.

In 1956, CinemaScope and WideScreen, with their new improved photographic and projection techniques proved to a well-needed ‘shot-in-the-arm’ for the ailing industry. Quick to move in and provide full facilities for this latest innovation BCC carried out a complete installation in all its theatres.

1956 Fri 29 June Cairns Post
Rex in Mossman Opens tonight
Sketch plans are now being prepared for a shopping block arcade and theatre running from Lake-street, Cairns straight through to Grafton-street, just by the buildings of the 31st Battalion.

The theatre, completely air conditioned, will run the full 300 feet length between the two streets and when finished will be able to seat between 1200 and 1300.
Meanwhile Mossman’s new theatre, the Rex, will be opened tonight by Cr R D Rex, 40 years a member of the Douglas Shire Council, 20 years its chairman.

The theatre, named after the former chairman, will seat 600 people and will be able to screen films on the Cinemascope ‘wide screen’. It replaced the Photoplay Theatre, one of the oldest in Queensland. The Photoplay has now been closed. Proceeds from tonight’s showing will go direct to Mossman ambulance.

The Rex was built at a cost of £30,000 and has been under construction for the last six months.

Application has also been made for a new double-storey theatre at Mareeba. If permission is given to build, this should be ready by the New Year, seating 1100 people, thus making it one of the largest theatres in the Far North, compared with the Tropical Theatre’s capacity of 1400. A stage will be built into the building, enabling the performance of ‘live’ shows from touring companies, an amenity now denied to Mareeba residents. At the moment, Mareeba residents who wish to see performances from touring companies must travel either to Atherton or Cairns.
These plans for cinemas in the Far North were outlined by the manager of Far Northern Theatres (Mr W M Moloney) yesterday.

Mr Moloney added that the drive-in theatre, so popular and successful in the south, could never be introduced to the Far North. “Climate is the main factor against” he said “With the long wet season at the start of the year, and heavy intermittent rains in between, there would be four or five months over the whole year when outdoor screenings would be out of the question. When it rains in Adelaide or Melbourne, they can use a certain chemical which keeps the windscreen clear. But here is no answer to the torrential downpours we get in Queensland as they quickly discovered even in Brisbane. No one would see the show.”

“In any case you need a community of not less than 50,000 people to sustain a drive-in theatre with performances every night. Their greatest asset in the South is that people can attend them with complete informality, free from the need to dress up. But as people dress quite informally to attend the cinema here anyway, there is no gain there at all. Land is expensive and our mosquito population would tend to irritate patrons. All in all, a drive-in theatre is not a good prospect for Cairns.”

1956 Sat July 6 p.9 Cairns Post
Mossman Opening
MOSSMAN JULY 2 – There was a packed house on Friday evening to see the official opening of the new Rex Theatre at Mossman. The opening ceremony was performed by Mrs R D Rex, wife of the Mossman townsman in whose honour the building was named, but who was unable through illness, to attend. Mr Rex, who retired last year after a lifetime of public service, had then completed among other public activities, 42 years as a member of the Douglas Shire Council, of which term 22 years had been spent as the chairman. To commemorate this fine record of district service by Mr Rex, the new theatre was named the Rex by Far Northern Theatres Ltd.

The new building, a £30,000 structure built in Mill-street on land which was formerly a part of the Exchange Hotel property and which adjoins the hotel building, is a most handsome addition to the town’s buildings. As well as being extremely ornamental, it also provides ample and comfortable accommodation for patrons and the interior design and furnishings are very tasteful and modern.
The large screen is built to accommodate modern advances in motion picture presentation and the theatre is entirely fitted with new seating furnishings. A plaque above the ticket office acknowledges the designation of the name “Rex” as being in honour of Mr. R. D. Rex.

The Rex Theatre replaces the Mossman Photo-Play, one of the oldest theatre buildings in the State, in which the field of motion pictures at Mossman was pioneered by Mr R. Lunn, who carried on movie entertainment there from about 1911 until a few years ago when he sold out to Far Northern Theatres Ltd. Mr Lunn, who is now retired, is still a resident of Mossman.

Speakers at the opening ceremony were introduced by the manager of Far Northern Theatres Ltd (Mr. W. Moloney), who paid tribute to all who had been responsible for the building of the new theatre. These included the architect, Mr B Lynn, the building contractors, Messrs Kynaston and Andrews (with complimentary reference to their young foreman, Mr “Slim” Leary), Maxwell and Morrow who had built the roof trusses, also the painter (Mr R. W. Durrington) and electricians (Burnells Pty Ltd) and all others who had been in way (should be “any”) way responsible for the construction of what he described as this “charming and tasteful theatre.” He also thanked the company’s Mossman manager Mr K. Traine, for the splendid job which he was doing in that capacity.

Mr. W. Smith, chairman of directors of Far Northern Theatres Ltd, announced that the proceeds of the opening night were being devoted as a benefit to the Mossman ambulance. He endorsed his thanks to all who had helped, and in the patrons who had come along to the opening night.

The chairman of the Douglas Shire Council (Cr. E. W. Berzinski) congratulated Far Northern Theatres on having built something to which the people of Mossman had been looking forward for many years. He said that perhaps some credit should also be given to the Douglas Shire Council who had been ‘on the backs’ of Far Northern Theatre over recent years, urging the substitution of a new building for the old one which had gone into poor repair (Smiles).

Mr A. R. Ziegler (superintendent of the Mossman ambulance) thanked Far Northern Theatres for providing their first night as a benefit for the ambulance, and he wished the theatre and its management every success.

Before asking Mrs Rex to declare the theatre open, Mr Moloney passed on to the audience the contents of a letter which he had received from Mr Rex regretting his inability to be present and wishing the venture all success.

Cutting a ribbon which stretched across the screen, Mrs Rex then declared the theatre open amidst loud applause from the large gathering.

The principal feature for the opening night was a Cinemascope production “There’s No Business Like Show Business” supported by shorts. At the conclusion of the programme, Far Northern Theatre entertained a number of friends at a buffet supper in the Exchange Hotel coffee-room.

1960 April 4 1960. Cairns Post
BY George Davis, solicitor of Mossman from facts supplied by Phil Lunn, son.

Mr Richard Lunn died at Mossman in the early morning of Saturday, April 2, and with his death, which occurred just after his 89th birthday, there passed a man who had had a colourful life and one of various interests.

As a sailor in his younger days he had sailed practically all round the world in the square-rigged sailing ships of those days. He saw active service in the Boer War and during his 60 years of residence in the Mossman district he carried on cane farming and hotel-keeping. He introduced the first motor car to the district, set up Mossman’s first garage and also pioneered the district’s first motion-picture theatre.

Born at Sheffield, Yorkshire on March 9, 1871, “Dick” Lunn (as he was best known) came to Australia with his parents at the age of 12. Living first of all in the Maroochy district, they later went to Nambour, where his father, Mr John Lunn became engineer, and later manager, of the Nambour sugar mill. Mrs Lunn senior died while the family were at Maroochyore, and Mr John Lunn died at Nambour shortly after retiring from the mill managership.

Evincing an early liking for the sea, Dick Lunn began his first sea-voyaging in the small sailing ships which plied between Maroochy and Brisbane. At the age of 19 he joined the merchant marine, and in his 10 years of that service he saw most of the countries of the world, including Great Britain, Japan and other eastern countries, and also North and South American. While in the merchant marine he attained the rank of second mate, a certificate of competency being issued to him by the Lord of the Committee of Privy Council for Trades on January 14, 1897.

The late Mr Lunn left the sea in 1899, signing off in Cairns. He and a mate named Trilby decided on a ‘walk-about” between ships, and they came to Mossman walking over the old “Bump: road. Mr Lunn took a liking to Mossman and settled there, his first employment being as a labour overseer employed by Mr. Sam Johnston at Drum Sara sugar plantation.

With the outbreak of the Boer War he enlisted from Mossman in April 1900, he being thereby believed to be the first man ever to enlist from Mossman in any war. He saw service with the 4th Queensland Infantry Bushmen, and on return from service he came back to Mossman in March 1902. From that time onward he remained at Mossman.

In 1902 he bought a cane farm property in the Bamboo Creek district, and while farming he was married to Miss Dolly Hobson. After some years on the farm, the Lunns came to Mossman township where they took over the Post Office Hotel. Mr Lunn then embarked in the picture theatre business and built Mossman’s first picture theatre. He received an initial set-back when, just before the building was completed, the 1911 cyclone struck the district, causing the theatre structure to collapse. The structure was re-built, and in the same year Mossman saw its first picture programme. The running of the theatre was a joint venture, in which the late Mr. Charles May and Mr. Hannaford were interested jointly with Mr. Lunn. The theatre was opened in the early days of motion pictures, when, before the introduction of electricity, acetylene gas and lime-light were the only means of illumination.

In 1914 Mr. Lunn went into the motor garage business, and brought the first motor car – a model “T” Ford ‘ into the Mossman district.

About 1926 he relinquished the hotel business and moved over to a new residence, “Sylvania”, and he continued with the garage and motion picture business. Mr. Hannaford had retired from the latter business some time earlier, and ultimately Mr. Lunn also took over Mr. May’s interest to become the sole owner.

In 1937 he went out of the motor garage which was taken over by his son Phil, and in 1946 he disposed of his motion picture interests to Far Northern Theatres. Since then Mr. Lunn has lived a retired life at Mossman.

In 1954 Mr and Mrs. Lunn took a trip to England, and Mr. Lunn, who was a keen Dickens enthusiast, revisited many of the places mentioned in the various Dickens works.

The late Mr. Lunn took a keen interest in local affairs during his life at Mossman. He was a foundation member and office-bearer in the Mossman Sub-branch of the R.S.L. when that sub-branch was formed in 1918, and his interest was subsequently retained with the post of honorary auditor to the sub-branch which he continued until 1948. He was also for a time a councillor on the Douglas Shire Council and also held a term as Master of the Port Douglas-Mossman Masonic Lodge.

A large attendance at the funeral which moved to the Mossman cemetery on Saturday afternoon testified to the esteem and affection in which the late Mr. Lunn had been held, and in his memory as an ex-serviceman, members of the R.S.L. acted ad pall-bearers, while an ex-servicemen’s guard of honour was formed outside the church and later at the graveside. Masonic Lodge members also paid their tributes at the graveside. The last rites at St. David’s Church of England and at the graveside were carried out by th Anglican rector at Mossman, Rev. A.R. McFarland.

The deceased is survived by his widow, Mrs Dolly Lunn, by two sons, Richard Greville Lunn and Phillip Sydney Lunn, and by five grandchildren. There are also surviving him a brother, Arthur Lunn (Corinda, Brisbane) and a sister, Mrs. Miriam Dickens (Sandgate). A daughter, Ailsa (Mrs F. Bright), a brother, John, and a sister, Charlotte, predeceased him.

1961 (Australasian Cinema 15 March 1973)
The Tropiciare Drive In Mt Isa became the first drive-in operated by BCC. In 1966 Bundaberg and Ayr followed. BCC closed its large theatres and concentrated on opening Drive Ins with just one hard top theatre in each provincial city.

1973 April 5 Australasian Cinema 
The Roxy Atherton is up for sale: ‘youngsters in the district will be completely without any form of recreation if they lose their weekly ‘Saturday pictures’ … average juvenile attendance on a Saturday night is 300…. Juveniles need an outlet. With the closure of theatres in country areas it’s the young people who do not have ‘wheels’ who suffer.

1973 May 10 Australasian Cinema
Another theatre in North Queensland changes hands. Wal and Lil Plemenak have sold their theatre at Mossman. Mrs Quaid, who is a local resident, took over on May 5. Mr and Mrs Plemenak have operated theatres successfully for many years in the North and before taking over the Mossman theatre were at the Bio Theatre Cloncurry and Estate Theatre, Townsville. Their plans at the moment are uncertain, but if they decide to turn to other interests, it will be a sad loss for the industry in this State.

1973 May 3 Australasian Cinema 
A word of praise to the boys of the despatch department of all film exchanges for the terrific job they did over the six days break at Easter. Although the bookings were close, no exhibitor went without his film. The silent army of back room boys seldom get into the limelight and it s about time they did.

1975 JULY 19 (Cairns Post or Townsville Daily Bulletin?)
Cairns Historical Society

Mr Walter Joseph (Wal) Plemenuk, a man who played an early pioneering role in the cultivation of sugar cane in the Proserpine area, died suddenly at his Townsville home at the weekend. A native of the city, where he was born on December 11, 1917, Mr Plemenuk spent his early life on cane farms in the Lower Burdekin, Innisfail and Mackay districts. When 15 years of age, he entered the butchering trade, but later branched out as a baker and pastry cook.

Mr Plemenuk returned to the sugar industry as a farmer, and took up the first cane assignment in Proserpine. He subsequently owned farms in Ingham and at Bartle Frere. In 1954 he relinquished his farming interests and acquired the Estate Theatre in Townsville. He later extended his association with motion picture theatres with interests in the Bio Theatre in Cloncurry and the Rex Theatre in Mossman. Mr Plemenuk disposed of his theatre interests in Mossman in 1973 and returned to live in Townsville in retirement, purchasing a home in Cranbrook. His principal interest since that time had been in gardening. He is survived by his widow, Lil, whom he married in Proserpine in January 1838, a son Robert and a grand-daughter Tanya.