Project Description

Shirley HUNTER (nee Jones) was born in 1936.

Her father, William Allan Jones (Allan), was born in 1902 and was adopted. He was brought up in Bridgetown then moved to Deanmill to work in the State Saw Mill. Shirley’s father purchased a car and first used it as a taxi service from Deanmill to Manjimup. He purchased his first projector and started showing movies in Deanmill Hall in 1923. The first silent movie shown there was called Other Men’s Shoes.

Her mother, Dorothy (Doll) Mary (nee Sheridan) was born Perth in 1912 and moved to Deanmill with her family during the Depression. She relieved as a pianist for silent movies which is how she met her husband, Allan.

Shirley’s parents married 1930. Her mother was a very busy woman when the five children were growing up in Busselton – Allan born 1930, Ron born 1947, Gwen born 1948, Peggy born 1950 (who died as a young child) and Shirley.

The family moved to Pemberton, built the Adyar Theatre and started the Allan Jones picture circuit in the Manjimup and Pemberton area. The family moved to Perth and ran an Open Air Picture Garden in Hay Street. Allan travelled back to Pemberton each weekend.

They purchased the Busselton Regal Theatre – formerly Barnard’s Hall. An Open Air Garden was set up and they ran the two venues at the same time. Shirley and her mother worked in the theatre. The Capel circuit started in around 1938 and was extended to Dunsborough. In 1960 the Drive-In theatre opened. Shirley sometimes went with her father on circuit and talks about her experiences and involvement.

Shirley joined the Girl Guides, was a member of ‘The Heralds’, a Church of England Group, and the Busselton Ballet School.

She married Ernie Hunter in 1960 and talks about her children, the effect of television on the Drive-In theatre, and the Theatre Museum her father set up.