Weston woman remembers Heddon Greta Drive-In opening in 1967

A photo from the 1967 opening night, appearing in the Cessnock Advertiser. The caption read: Mr. Ray Smith, at left, with general manager of National Theatre Supplies, with the manager of the new Heddon Greta Skyline Drive-In Theatre, Mr. Sam Robinson, Mr. Laurie Murphy, of Cessnock, the assistant to the exectutive director of the Greater Union Theatres organisation, Mr. H. G. Hayward, and Albert Bromage, of Cessnock, with a vintage car at the drive-in opening this week.
A photo from the 1967 opening night, appearing in the Cessnock Advertiser. The caption read: Mr. Ray Smith, at left, with general manager of National Theatre Supplies, with the manager of the new Heddon Greta Skyline Drive-In Theatre, Mr. Sam Robinson, Mr. Laurie Murphy, of Cessnock, the assistant to the exectutive director of the Greater Union Theatres organisation, Mr. H. G. Hayward, and Albert Bromage, of Cessnock, with a vintage car at the drive-in opening this week.

CARS have changed a bit over the past five decades.

But, according to Weston’s Glenda Smith, the great atmosphere at Heddon Greta Drive-In is likely the same.

Mrs Smith attended the local icon’s first screening in 1967, as a 16-year-old, and has been a fan ever since.

On Wednesday, 50 years on, the drive-in team will host a special birthday event, showing the movie Mrs Smith saw on opening night – To Sir With Love.

The former Cessnock Advertiser employee was in the office in 1967 when the town’s cinema owner Sam Robinson walked in with tickets to the opening of his new venture.

“I was only young so I was all excited,” Mrs Smith said.

“Mum and Dad went, and a friend of mine as well.

“It was very exciting because we’d never been to one before.

“It was a good movie, I can still remember it.”

As far as transport is concerned, Mrs Smith thought back to what car they used that night.

“I think my mum had a little old Hillman,” she said.

“It was a long time ago.

“[But] it really hasn’t changed that much – the atmosphere and everything is still the same.”

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