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Lyric Pictures (Bordertown Institute), Bordertown


Bordertown lies on the main highway from Adelaide to Melbourne, close to the border with Victoria. Its claim to inclusion in this Encyclopaedia stems from an item in the trade press in September, 1928:

.[Everyone's, 26 September, 1928, p. 28.]

This article gave rise to the thought that Mr Murray might have constructed some kind of photoplayer. However, further research has revealed full details of the "Orchestron", which was in reality an elaborate gramophone with two turntables, an antecedent of those later used by radio stations and their "disc jockeys". As the contraption illustrates an interesting aspect of silent film presentation in the late 1920s, details are given here for their historical value as they are otherwise unlikely to be recorded, and may be of interest to those researching silent film exhibition practices.

Mr A W (not S E) Murray was the Director of Lyric Pictures, which showed weekly on Saturday nights at the Bordertown Institute. He was also an Electrical Engineer who sold and repaired refrigerators, washing machines, radios and "Petter Home Lighting Plants" His invention was comprehensively described in the local press:

But all did not always go according to plan:

In view of the comments about the thinness of tone of the hall's piano in comparison with the gramophone it is somewhat surprising to read that:

Organ music was heard at the Lyric:

The Lyric's "Musical Directress" was Miss Murphy..

[All unattributed quotations are from The Border Chronicle, Sept-December, 1928]

Below are contemporary advertisements for commercial machines similar in concept to the Orchestron.



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