Redcliffe Picture Palace 1918-28

Updated: Nov 20

The original open air Picture Palace was built by two WW1 returned servicemen, Mr Eckard and Mr Davies, for the summer season of 1918. It was located on Redcliffe Parade opposite the Jetty between J. M. Phillps' Oyster Kiosk and Pikett's fruit shop. (Where the subway shop is currently located on Redcliffe Parade)

The photo below shows Jack Beedham and Percy Manley (local hairdresser) outside the theatre:

The photo above of the open air Picture Palace taken in 1923, shows 3 movie posters from movies released in 1922/23. They include the following 3 films:


"Forget Me Not" is a 1922 American silent melodrama film directed by W. S. Van Dyke and distributed by Metro Pictures. The film starred Bessie Love and Gareth Hughes. It is considered a lost film.(A lost film is a feature or short film that no longer exists in any studio archive, private collection, public archive or the U.S)


"The Cover Wagon" is a 1923 American silent Western film released by Paramount Pictures. The film was directed by James Cruze based on a 1922 novel of the same name by Emerson Hough about a group of pioneers traveling through the old West from Kansas to Oregon. J. Warren Kerrigan starred as Will Banion and Lois Wilson as Molly Wingate. On their quest they experience desert heat, mountain snow, hunger, and Indian attack.


"Rouged Lips" is a 1923 American silent drama film directed by Harold M.Shaw and starring Viola Dana, Tom Moore, and Nola Luxford. It is based in the story Upstage by Rita Weiman which appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Everyones Magazine Vol.2 No.103 ( 22 February 1922)

"Record Takings Despite Adverse Weather

There are some men who can take the worst of things in the best of spirits, and amongst these gentry is Mr. J. M Cahill, picture exhibitor, of Pier Pictures, Redcliffe, Queensland, who sends along the following chatty letter under date of February 11th:

“Business is very good here, even though I am having a more than ordinary share of bad weather. Starting from New Year’s Eve, I showed every night for a fortnight. Of the twelve screening evenings, eight were very wet and, notwithstanding this, my takings were a record.

“We had hundreds of campers in the vicinity, but they were nearly all flooded out. I made an announcement that my picture hall would be open to them, free of charge, every night, so that they could sleep after the performance. Dozens availed themselves of the opportunity, and I was made a nice presentation when the parties were leaving. I ran jazz dancing every night after the show, and it was most successful.

“At present I am only running two nights weekly, showing Australasian Films the first evening,

and Fox and Universal on the other night. Australasian Films' programmes have never failed to

please my patrons, and I can safely say that I have never screened a bad programme from that firm. “My lease terminates in March, and there is very little hope of my renewing it, as the terms are not at all satisfactory. Had the Bradley-Stone fight picture here last Saturday, being one of the first showmen to screen it. It was a very wet night, having been raining all day as well, so that the people would not come out in any great numbers. “I have only been up this way about a year, and cannot say that I like it as well as I do Sydney, but conditions are much easier for an exhibitor, and this is a big consideration. In conclusion I may state that ‘Everyone’s’ comes to light every week, and I am always on the look-out for ifi as it is the most interesting picture magazine, to Australians, published.”

In 1921 the owners of the Redcliffe Picture palace put their theatre up for auction. The Brisbane Courier newspaper advertised the theatre as the Redcliffe Picture Pavilion.

Harold Slight (Jack) Beedham and Eleanor Elizabeth Beedham (nee Corscadden) were the successful bidders. They became local identities know as Ma and Pa Beedham.

Films shown in the Picture Palace in March 1927 include:


Honour The Woman is a lost film and no record or poster if this film an be found. Mary Carr (née Kenevan; March 14, 1874 – June 24, 1973), was an American film actress and was married to the actor William Carr. She appeared in more than 140 films between 1915 and 1956 and passed away at the age of 99 in Los Angles in 1973.


Paradise is a lost 1926 American silent escapist-romance film directed by Irvin Willat and released by First National Pictures. The film stars Milton Sills, Betty Bronson and Noah Beery. Based on the popular 1925 novel Paradise by Cosmo Hamilton and John Russell, it was one of Sills' most successful films. A stunt pilot, Tony, marries Chrissie and the two are given a tropical island wedding, which is a lot of fun at first. They are considered the King and Queen of their island by the natives. The fun turns into island turmoil at the machinations of island despot Quex.


There You Are! is a 1926 American silent comedy film directed by Edward Sedgwick. Based on the play of the same name by F. Hugh Herbert, the film starred Conrad Nagel and Edith Roberts.There You Are! is now considered lost film. George (Conrad Nagel) is a clerk who captures a bandit, and in return gets the boss' daughter (Edith Roberts).


Everyones Magazine Vol.4 No.187 (3 October 1923)

"Redcliffe — A northern correspondent says:“l was down at the re-opening of Redcliffe Pictures on the 13th September. It was a very successful affair. The old show has been remodelled and extended another 40 feet. Mr. J. Beedham is the new lessee, and undoubtedly he is spending quite an amount of money on it. When completed. the additions and improvements will cost in the vicinity of £lOOO. The hall will compare more than favourably with any of the nearby seaside theatres."

A 1924 Paramount advert showing Woody Point Pictures (Lorneleigh) and Pier Pictures at Redcliffe.

The original open air theatre was roofed in 1921-22 and the photo below is of the C of E Girls Friendly Society Gym Class taken inside the theatre in 1926:

Names include: Phyllis, Lil and Mamie Jeffrey, Lucy Beedham, Beryl Manley,Nancy Strathearn, Dorothy and Ruth King, Martha Gentner, Connie Wilmott, Captain Campbell Brown instructor, Reverend and Mrs King.

Films featured at the Picture Palace in May 1928 included:


Tracked by the Police is a 1927 silent film produced and distributed by the Warner Bros. with a story written by Darryl Zanuck. It stars dog actor Rin Tin Tin. Ray Enright directed with 'Rinty's' costars being Jason Robards, Sr. and Virginia Brown Faire. The film may have had a Vitaphone sound effects/music track that is now lost. The film is preserved at the Library of Congress.


The One Woman with Richard Semler Barthelmess (May 9, 1895 – August 17, 1963) He was an American film actor, principally of the Hollywood silent era.


Tea for Three is a lost 1927 American comedy silent film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and written by Garrett Graham, F. Hugh Herbert, Roi Cooper Megrue and Lucille Newmark. The film stars Lew Cody, Aileen Pringle, and Owen Moore. Supporting players were Phillips Smalley, Dorothy Sebastian and Edward Thomas. The film was released on October 29, 1927, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The original 1885 jetty showing the Picture Pavilion just slightly to the right of the jetty.

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

This 1922 photo show the Picture Pavilion in between the first 1885 Jetty and second 1922 Jetty.

The 1925 aerial above shows the Picture Pavilion to the left of the second jetty ( built in 1922)


In 1928 , Ma and Pa Beedham built a new Picture Pavilion two allotments away from the original theatre and a Mr A Robson directed the works. It was located next to the Moreton Vista Guest House.

The old theatre closed down on Saturday 27th October 1928, Final screenings were "The Tempest" set during the 1914 Bolshevik uprising starring John Barrymore and Camilia Horn, and Wyoming starring Tim McCoy. The Tempest was screened with synchronised music and sound effects.


On 3rd November 1928, a week after closing down the first Picture Palace , the new Picture Pavilion opened without any formalities. See our page on the history of the Pier Theatre 1928-69


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



Ma and Pa Beedham family history can be found at the following link:

https://www.redcliffebook.com/post/beedham-family-history






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