Lorneleigh Guest House and Woody Point Pictures
Updated: Feb 17
The Lorneleigh is a guest house located on St Leonards St (Now Alfred St) at Woody Point and was built by W.S. Martin in 1890.
Travelling picture shows had been around in Redcliffe since 1906, and had been shown in local guest houses in the summer holiday season.
In 1912, Redcliffe was a small township with a population of 1150, no sealed roads and no picture theatres. In 1912 C.W Watts being the first to ask permission from the Shore Council to show moving pictures over the Easter long weekend at local Redcliffe boarding houses. The Shire Council took a conservative approach banning pictures shows on Sundays in all parts of the shire.
In 1915 with Australia still in the Great War, the Lorneleigh Guest House hired its projectionist Henry Jeff to entertain house guests with a travelling picture show. In 1916 with Redcliffe's population at 1500, he began showing pictures in Bob Morgan's tin shed next door at 18 St Leonards St (Alfred St) This was Redcliffe's first public picture theatre, and had corrugated iron walls and a dirt floor.
During its life from 1916 to 1931 it had six owners:
1916 - Mr Henry Jeff
1917 - Mr E.T. Mickelwright
1918 - Mr B. Edwards
1919 - Mr and Miss Walker
1923 - Mr Cahill
1927 Mrs Brockway.
The pictures were silent, black and white films and many famous films were shown including The Tramp with Charlie Chaplin (released in 1915) The Birth of a Nation (1915) Sherlock Holmes (1916) Ben Hur (1925)
In 1921 it was advertised as Lorneleigh Pictures and on the 19th November, showed a silent film What's Your Hurry? A 1920 American silent drama film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Sam Wood and stars Wallace Reid and Lois Wilson
On 17th December 1921, they showed 2 films:
Behind the Door is a surviving 1919 silent war drama film produced by Thomas Ince, directed by Irvin Willat and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The picture is a starring vehicle for veteran actor Hobart Bosworth and the supporting cast features Jane Novak and Wallace Beery.
Rustling A Bride is a lost 1919 silent film comedy-Western directed by Irvin Willat and starring Lila Lee.
A Paramount advert from 1924 showing Woody Point Pictures and Pier Pictures in Redcliffe.
Brisbane Courier - 3rd September 1925:
"Humpybong School Dance - A school dance was held at Lorneleigh Picture Pavilion, kindly lent by Mrs. Ruby Morgan and was a great success. The music was supplied by the Philharmonic Orchestra. During the supper interval, Mrs. Morgan screened a couple of pictures to amuse the children, which were greatly appreciated. The proceeds were in aid of the school funds"
Woody Point/Lorneleigh Pictures ran for 15 years closing in 1931 and the building was demolished in the late 1930's. The concrete projector stand still remains at 18 Alfred St.
Lorneleigh at 22 Albert St in 1967:
Lornleigh has been renovated into flats and lives on at 22 Alfred St Woody Point.
A wonderful relic of our romantic past.
Photos from our Pictorial History of Redcliffe Book 1824-1949 - available to purchase at the following link: https://www.redcliffebook.com/product-page/the-pictorial-history-of-redcliffe