This week marked 85 years since talking pictures first came to Darwin. A full program of flicks such as She Went for a Tramp and Noah Knew His Ark were shown in front of a sold-out crowd at the Star Theatre in Smith Street. Excitement grew in the days before as the new equipment was installed and tested with curious locals even climbing trees to try and get a preview. Then the big night arrived. The cinema was decorated with balloons and streamers and the crowd found their seats, posing for this extraordinary photograph. After declaring himself the happiest man in Darwin, the cinema's manager Tom Harris then told the crowd, "no more talk, that other one him do the talk..."

Image: A. Jarvis Collection, Northern Territory Library


Published: 27 May 2018

Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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These works were made on Arrernte, Larrakia, Gaddigal and Lenape land that was never ceded