Avant garde, no?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal - nevertheless, Gary Moore's version of Friday On My Mind is undeniably superior to the Easybeats rendition.

I asked my comrade SteveSteve what he thought of the Cloud installation. His analysis, and please excuse his shocking language, was that it was "bloody stupid." Aside from the financial and aesthetic aspects previously discussed, he made reference to the traffic problems that were posed during it's construction - Basically, he had to go around the long way to get into town. Poor kid.

He then proceeded to tell me a ghost story.

Comrade SteveSteve's Amazing Ghost Story!

Comrade SteveSteve is nothing if not multi-talented. When the kid isn't keeping busy cutting into corpses, he's cutting into reels of film. He's gone and become a cinema projectionist.

His amazing ghost story goes like this:

A long, long time ago, when they were constructing the building in which the new Warragul cinema is now housed, a young boy was playing with his toy truck, when he was tragically killed in an industrial accident - all that could be found of him was his truck, half buried in the set concrete. His mother was the one who found this, and the death of her son drove her down the track of madness, final stop: suicide junction, all passengers alight.

According to the cinema staff, the ghost of the boy haunts Cinema 3, as that's the area where he died. The ghost of his mother wanders the rest of the cinema, searching for her son, but never finding him.

Question: Is there a ghost in the Warragul cinema?

The Plaza Arcade, in which the cinema is located, is a pretty old building, and old buildings automatically equal supernatural shenanigans... but cinemas - cinemas, man!

Let me tell you something about cinemas, my friends.

When you are working in a cinema - let us say that you are cleaning one after the last show - there are some truths that we hold to be self-evident:

You are working in the dark.
You are working on your own.
You are working with loud vacuum cleaners.
You are working after midnight.

Further to this, the way in which a cinema works is that when you are down in the actual theatre proper, there is still stuff moving in the projection booth, as per the procedure one follows for shutting down for the night. This results in moving shadows and whatnot.

It should also be taken into account that when a cinema staff member is cleaning up, they may have just watched portions of a scary film, or been listening to the scary soundtrack of a scary film. Lots of dramatic music and screaming.

So, is the Warragul cinema haunted? Probably not - apparently most cinemas have ghost stories, and the reason for that is most likely related to the above truths. Also, there is no such thing as ghosts, you dope.

Nevertheless, I was curious as to whether there was any truth to the story of the boy who died during the construction of the Arcade.

So, let me lay some Warragul history on you, fool.

In 1922, construction began on a purpose built movie theatre, in the building where the current cinema is now located. There was no plaza back then... the entrance to the old school cinema was instead located in front of the Cenotaph.

In June of 1923, the theatre opened. There is no mention in any of the local papers of the time of anybody dying during the construction of the theatre, however the building in which movies had previously been shown MYSTERIOUSLY burnt down just before the new theatre opened.

Well, okay, it had been a large wooden building full of flammable lanterns that was built in the 1880s. The timing is just a bit coincidental for me, though - and people did wonder... Nobody died in the fire however.

For those who are curious, it was located in William's Lane, where the Tattslotto Shop (near Coles) is now.

Anyway, the theatre ran until 1969, when it went out of business for various reasons - the opening of the Twilite drive-in on the edge of town in 63 may have had something to do with this. Nobody died during the construction of the Twilite

The Twilite closed down in the 80s, and the other Warragul cinema was opened shortly thereafter - it was a pretty slapdash affair, in the sense that it was not a purpose built cinema. Basically, they just took the little building that was attached to the arts centre, chucked a screen and a bunch of old chairs in, and called it a cinema. I remember playing the Space Invaders game there, and watching The Lion King not once, not twice, but thrice. At some point in the 90s, it shut down. Nobody died in the construction of the other Warragul cinema's building.

In 2001, the current Warragul cinema complex was opened more or less on the spot where the original theatre had been - only the entrance had changed.

The point is, nobody died during the construction of any of these buildings. I'm sure that children have died in Warragul, but there is no reason for any ghosts to be haunting the Warragul cinema.

During the course of my investigation, I spoke to the son of the man who played piano during the silent movies at the original theatre. If there had been any sort of ghost story associated with the building, it would have been the sort of thing his father would have told him - however this was the first he had heard of it.

Conclusion: The Warragul Cinema Ghost is a very modern concoction - it is, at most, five years old.

I considered that the ghost story may have begun at the Arts Centre cinema, and been passed along by staff who worked there, and subsequently worked at the new cinema complex, however there is too much time between the closing of the Arts Centre cinema and the opening of the new cinema for them to share any staff.

Mystery solved. Check out this file for some more info on the old Warragul Moving Picture Theatre: http://www.rosstrust.org.au/pdf/history_section3.pdf

I wish I had found that before I did all that bloody walking around talking to people.

Next week on Detective Cam's Mystery Mayhem: What's the deal with Comrade SteveSteve's mysterious house?

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