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.


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.



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.