Town Hall, Eaglehawk
Also known as: Star Pictures
Showing films from: early 1900
The Star has operated from the Eaglehawk Town Hall since early 1900s. The cinema originally went by the name of ‘Star Pictures’, later shorted to just ‘The Star’. As well as showing films it included live acts and even hosted beauty contests!
During the 1910s there was a small network of professionals who worked in the cinema business in Bendigo and people would often move from one venue to another. One example is Mr Le Breton who was the one time manager of The Star but had also managed the Tivoli open-air cinema for the Tait brothers, before running the Lyric.
Collaboration between the venues happened in other ways too, for example the Lyric and The Star would swap film reels during intervals so they could offer a greater range of films. The projectionist from the Lyric would stand outside the building and wait for the Eaglehawk tram to pass, as it did he would pass the reels of film to the conductor who took them up the line to Eaglehawk, where he would be met by The Star’s eager projectionist ready and waiting to change films before the audience noticed any gaps in the programme!
When television became more affordable in the 1960s many cinemas closed and The Star was no exception. However, in 1999 The Star opened its doors once more and became a working cinema again; first under the ownership of Joan Rodger and now as a community run project. The cinema has a programme including art-house and mainstream films.