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Hoyts Cinemas: Talkies for Country Areas (c.1929)


This Hoyts cinema advertisement shows the wonders of the Hoyts Talking Pictures Roadshow which toured a portable sound unit to bring the ‘talkies’ to country areas around Australia in 1929.

The advertisement is silent, so much of the information is conveyed with intertitles.

Curator’s notes

Commercial talking pictures arrived in Australia around 1928 and initially boosted cinema attendances around the country. By 1929, many cinemas in the capital cities had been wired for sound, and audiences could easily access the ‘talkies’. However, converting picture houses to accommodate sound pictures was expensive and theatres in country or regional areas took longer to catch up. It wasn’t until 1937 that all Australian cinemas countrywide had been converted to sound. The portable sound units which toured with ‘skilled engineers and sound technicians’, seen here in this Hoyts advertisement, allowed audiences in country areas to access the wonders of the ‘talkies’ like their city counterparts.