Roy Mudge and his Princess Theatre
Retired projectionist Roy Mudge, has worked for 50 years in Perth, Fremantle, suburban and drive-in Cinemas… including the Piccadilly, The Grand, Theatre Royal and The Ambassadors, after beginning as a 16-year-old assistant at Fremantle’s Princess Theatre in 1964.
Roy had the foresight to take photographs of them, and collect much movie related memorabilia over the decades. He is now the curator at the Australian Museum of Motion Picture and Television.
Roy’s passion for the cinema industry and film making art is manifest in his home cinema, where he pays tribute to two memorable venues. One being the cinema where he started his career, the Princess Theatre, and the second being Perth’s only atmospheric theatre, the Ambassadors.
He established his Princess Theatre in Medina 18 years ago, with the decor featuring Florentine architecture in miniature, with gardens and statues, as were a feature of the Ambassadors, when it opened in Hay Street in 1928. Sadly, this magnificent cinema closed in 1972 and was demolished.
Ambassadors a Lost Cinema Heritage
Sunday 30th October, 2016, was the last screening at Roy’s Princess Theatre, which will now be relocated to Roleystone where Peter Foyster will take over the operation. What it will look like will depend on how much is salvaged in the process.
During the 18 years of operation, Roy estimates that he has screened over 200 films in the cinema, to screen-buffs and regular Sunday night screenings. This included various community groups.
He started off with 16mm films before moving to 35mm and finally digital projection.
Roy adheres to a pride more associated with yesteryear. That being the high standard of presentation that is now lacking from today’s movie going experience. The art of the lighting, the music, the curtains, all creating a mood to enhance the show. Features that were all present for Princess Theatre screening.
It goes beyond that, for its been an intimate experience where friends and movie buffs can relax and view gems from the golden era of Hollywood and be plied with refreshments that go beyond the candy bar of today.
Thank you to TVHistory and Ken McKay for the information