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Hoyts and Studebaker Cinema Advertisement: Touring Talkie Show (c.1929)


This silent advertisement promotes the new ‘Touring Talkie Show’ truck operated by Hoyts – with sponsorship from Studebaker Car Corporation and the Shell Oil Company.

Curator’s notes

This advertisement takes the form of a news item with a clear storyline, a format familiar to cinema goers of the time who were used to watching newsreels. It is also an early example of cross-promotion where the interests of Hoyts, Shell and Studebaker are all promoted through their support for the 'Touring Talkie Show’. The advertisement focuses on the spectacle and excitement of the joint venture as first fleet of sedans depart from Melbourne for country areas. It does this by presenting the touring fleet of sedans as an event in itself, showing company executives and members of the public as equally interested in the venture, and in positioning the tour as a community service.

Hoyts Theatres, the Studebaker Car Corporation and the Shell Oil Company of Australia combined in a £6,000 deal to tour talking pictures around regional areas. The tour was the first of its kind in Australia. The enterprise was important because, while many cinemas in the capital cities had been wired for sound, audiences in country areas missed out. Portable sound equipment that toured in these Hoyts vans allowed country audiences to enjoy the coming of sound like their city counterparts. Over the next decade, theatres around the country were being wired to meet the growing demand to see talking pictures. By 1937 all Australian cinemas countrywide had been converted to sound.

The nitrate print of this advertisement was deposited with the National Film and Sound Archive by Ross King, who built a collection of cinema advertisements from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as a selection from 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. The film was given to King by Harry Gratton and, although instructed by his employer Val Morgan to destroy the print, he did not. It is thanks to both Gratton and King that this film survives.