Morgans Pictures at Scarborough 1928-35 and the Morgan family history.

Updated: Nov 7


In December 1928, Bob Morgan built a picture theatre at Martins Estate, at the southern end of the Scarborough Camping ground near Jerry Klaassen's horse yard.

In 1916, Bob Morgan and family were living at 18 St Leonards St (later namedAlfred St) Woody Point, and the Lorneleigh Guest house, next door, had its projectionist ,Henry Jeffs use Bob's shed to entertain their guests with a picture show. This was Redcliffe's first public picture theatre, and had corrugated iron walls and a dirt floor.

Bob Morgan had tried on multiple occasions to obtain approval from the Shire council for his own theatre, with the following unsuccessful attempts:

1927 - A picture show and dance hall on Prince Edward Parade at Queens Beach.

1928 transferring a picture show license from Woody Point to Kate St, Margate Beach and to build a new picture theatre at Martin's Estate Scarborough. Then to build a new theatre at Margate Beach.

Sea Breeze Estate Scarborough 1929 land sales map below showing the location of the new "Scarborough Picture Pavilion"

The new theatre in Scarborough at 42 Landsborough Ave, was built in Nov/Dec. 1928 and was 90ft x35f. It seated up to 450 people and was built by Messrs. M Tilley and J.W. Symons. By all reports it was small and comfortable, simply known as Morgan's Pictures, Scarborough Picture Pavilion or The Picture Hall.


They would have shown such movies as Animal Crackers with the Marx Brothers , Frankenstein with Boris Karloff , Dracula with Bela Lugosi and Grand Hotel with Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford.

The theatre operated for 6 years, however was a derelict building by the mid 1930's, after Bob died in October of 1935.

As of 2022 the building still stands and is now used as a motor garage at 42 Landsborough Ave.

Land Sale Maps 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


Robert Morgan history:

Robert William James Morgan was born in 1878 Allansford, Warrnambool City, Victoria.

and was married to Ruby Vere Morgan in 1906 in Victoria. Their children were:

Ernest Robert (1907),

Reginald Robert James (1908-1998),

Gladys Ruby (1910-1969) ,

Henry Laidlaw (1912-1973)

Grace Jean (1916-1986).


Mr. Morgan was prominent in Victorian cycling circles and was a winner of a Warrnambool to Melbourne race, as well as many important track events.


Robert won many races riding under the auspices of the League of Victorian Wheelmen, including the Australian 25 Mile Road Championships in North Coburg in 1907, riding a Dunlop shod "Premier" Cycle.







He came to Brisbane about 1912 to take charge of the cycle department of Howards Ltd., and in 1917 went into partnership with Mr. Henry Wacker.

With a love for motorcycles, business partners Bob Morgan and Henry Wacker first established the Morgan & Wacker company in 1917.

First operating out of Elizabeth Street in 1917, the company had a turbulent beginning, with Morgan retiring from the company only 15 months after establishment, due to health issues. Although Morgan's time was brief, his name was carried on ever since. Needing help, Henry Wacker turned to his four brothers, who all eventually joined Wacker in revolutionising the Australian motorcycle industry.


After a few years in the west Bob Morgan and family settled at 18 St Leonards St (later named Alfred St) Woody Point and started his quest for a movie theatre in Redcliffe.

Grace (1916-1986) and Gladys (1910-1969) Morgan next to a car, c. 1934, outside of what is thought to be Bob's Picture Theatre at Scarborough. Photo supplied by Ruby Baylis.


Robert passed away aged 57 years, on the 30th September 1935 and is buried in the Redcliffe Cemetery Plot 1/E/6.

Ruby passed away aged 89years, on the 14th August 1972 ands is buried in the Redcliffe Cemetery.

Telegraph 2nd October 1935:

DEATH OF MR. R. W. MORGAN

"The death occurred on September 30 of Mr.Robert William Morgan of Woody Point Mr. Morgan was prominent in Victorian cycling circles and was a winner of a Warrnambool to Melbourne race, as well as many important track events.

He came to Brisbane about 1912 to take charge of the cycle department of Howards Ltd., and in 1917 went into partnership with Mr. Henry Wacker in the firm of Morgan and Wacker. After about 15 months Mr. Morgan severed his connection with the firm on account of ill health. After a few years in the west he settled at Woody Point 12 years ago. Mr. Morgan is survived by his widow, three sons and two daughters."


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