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Jubilee Theatre (1935)

3 Walter Street

 

In 1926 the Lowood Picture Theatre Company was formed by John Walters and three partners and movies were shown in the Show Society Hall.

Part of 2 storey Railway St building Part of 2 storey Railway St building After a major fire in Railway Street in 1925, an imposing two-storey commercial and residential building was built (left) that included the 'Lowood Picture Hall', where the Lowood Picture Company showed movies from 1928.          


 On 8 December 1933, The Queensland Times reported Lowood's worst fire, "(John) Walters' block consisted of a large double two-storey building, one half used as a picture show, and the other as a cafe.The top storeys of both sections were used as living quarters. So quickly were the premises gutted that only a few fittings were saved from the building."

In all ten businesses were destroyed, including the cinema and its projection and sound equipment.


Jubilee Theatre under constructionJubilee Theatre under construction

Although this was the second major fire in three years to destroy several of John Walters' Railway Street properties, he soon started work on a multi-purpose theatre in Walters Street.

He installed Kalee projectors and a sound system custom-made in Brisbane, removable canvas seats, a 70ft by 50ft dance floor of 'imported timber', a performance stage and a street-front cafe. 

Jubilee Theatre in the 1950sJubilee Theatre in the 1950s

The theatre was opened on 6 May 1935 by Sir Littleton Groom, former Federal Attorney General and Member for Darling Downs, with about 700 people present. 

The Queensland Times reported, "It has been named the Lowood Jubilee Theatre in honour of the Silver Jubilee of the reign of his majesty King George V and to mark the golden jubilee of Mr Walters's residence in the Lowood District."

(In fact it was the 50th anniversary of Walters' arrival in Queensland from England in 1885. He had settled in Fernvale in 1893 and moved to Lowood until 1901.)


The Jubilee's interior was stylishly designed and decorated. It was a popular venue for dances, balls, card nights and amateur theatre productions, as well movies which were sometimes shown twice a week.

Like so many country cinemas, the Jubilee eventually lost out to the growing popularity of television.

After operating continuously for 31 years, its final screening was the Disney film, 'Big Red', on 18 June 1966. 

 

 


Part of the 7m hand painted curtainPart of the 7m hand painted curtainIn August 2012 many of the Jubilee's fittings and fixtures, unused for 46 years, were removed and sold at auction.

The sale included the projectors, theatre seats, movie posters and the magnificent 7m x 4m hand painted advertising curtain.