Secret cinema history hidden in walls of 1949 house

ABOVE: The 1949 house in Evans Head. Photos: Contributed

Susanna Freymark

When Caroline Powell bought a 1949 house on a corner block in Evans Head, she had no idea what was hidden in the walls.

Her brother Lyall Powell was renovating and as he pulled the stained plywood off the walls in the entry hall, he came across three panels of posters featuring films from the 40s and 50s.

“My brother said if he had been there by himself, he would have ripped them off.” Caroline said.

“Luckily I was there. I love old things and antiques especially from 40s and 60s.”

Caroline even has a 1940s big house phone in her new home.

The panel of old film promotional posters are in amazing condition, she said.

One of the panels found in a house in Evans Head.

“We are planning to have them mounted and hung in our house as a piece of local history.”

The owner of the house before Caroline was from Kyogle so Caroline figures the poster could have come from there. The house had been rented out for 15 years.

Another possibility is that the posters came from one of two old picture theatres in Evans Head.

Richard Gates from the Evans Head Living Museum said there was a picture theatre built in 1953 and run by Phil and Denise Harris. There is a remnant of the theatre in Woodburn St behind the bottle shop.

Back in the 1940s films were shown in the Rosolens Picture Theatre in the building across from the IGA supermarket.

Lyall Powell found three panels of old movie posters behind the walls of a 1949 house in Evans Head.

The Enchanted Cottage is a poster from a 1945 movie set in World War II involving a facially disfigured pilot who falls in love with a maid who looks after him despite his injuries. The first film, a silent movie, was released in 1924 and there was a subsequent movie around 2016.  But this is definitely a 1945 film poster produced by RKO Radio Pictures as part of its distribution and advertising process. I think RKO was wrapped up in 1959.  This film is before the Harris Picture Theatre was built in 1953 and so is likely to have come from another venue such as Casino, or Kyogle or Lismore or Rosolens at Evans Head. “

If anyone knows anything about the date and origin of the posters, contact Caroline at Muzzas Milkbar in Evans Head.

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