Random Friday memory 28: seeing the Coronation from Sutherland

I am pretty sure I saw a film of Elizabeth II’s Coronation at the Odeon Theatre in Sutherland in 1953. I was utterly rapt, I know, as 1953’s main event as far as I was concerned was happening in London. I even made my own crown jewels with my Meccano set! There were local celebrations.

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I think I recall a night celebration, not at Sutherland Oval but by the old Ambulance Station on the Princes Highway – fireworks, and loudspeakers broadcasting the event from London via shortwave radio. Or did I dream that?

Now to that movie version seen later, of course. We had no TV in 1953. I always thought it was this one:

But there were two movies, it seems, and that one appears to have been restricted. We may have gone into town to see it.

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So perhaps it was “Elizabeth is Queen” that I saw in Sutherland. I may have seen it alone: I (and my friends) often went to the cinema (“the flicks”) alone at age nine and ten! Not unusual in 1953. I have an idea too that our whole school may have gone to a special screening. I do recall being rapt by the colour and splendour of it all. I was a total royalist then.

At the end of last century I voted for a republic. But you know what? I am not sure at all that I would now.

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