Melbourne’s 1st gift – the feature length movie.

When we think of movies, we obviously think of LA, Hollywood. We never really think about Australia or little ol’ Melbourne.
But, you will be suprised to know that actually, Melbourne plays a big part in movie history. Melbourne is known to have made the first feature length movie – most movies around then ran for abour 20 minutes, but the 1906 movie, made by Messrs. John and Nevin Tatt (founders of the “J N.Tait Theatrical company”) ran for nearlly an hour.
The story was of our famous outlaw, Ned Kelly and was named, “The story of the Kelly gang.” it was put into six sequences, and was advertised as containing 4,000 feet of film. The movie was based on one of J.N.Tait Theatrical company’s plays, and was made so that they could reach audiences that lived in the country and interstate. And guess where it was filmed? In Heidelberg, Victoria.
The movie had it’s first screening on the Footscray oval in early Decemeber 06′, and had it’s premiere at Footscay’s Royal Hall. It’s first public screening was on the afternoon of December the 26th at the Athenaeum Theater. The movie went around Australia for 20 years, and was also shown in New Zealand and the UK. It apprently made a huge profit to all that backed it.
So, we are approaching the 100th anniversary of Melbourne – and the world’s first feature film. However, unfortunetly, the original movie has been lost over the years. All we have left is 18 minutes of random projections. If you live in Canberra, they are celebrating the 100th anniversay by screening these clips on the 30th of November @ 8.30 at the National Film and Sound Archives, in it’s new digitally remastered form.
This gets me thinkin’ – not only did Melbourne bring to the world the first feature length movie – but it also seems to have started the trend of opening movies on boxing day? We are smart us Melbournians!

Thanks to this website for the info –

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