The Heathcote Film Group screened its final film on Wednesday.By Barbara Sungaila
A final chapter in local film history closed on Wednesday when Gail Casey presented an archive of Heathcote Film Group material to the Heathcote McIvor Historical Society.
The film group has been a magnet for district film buffs for more than 15 years, with its monthly screenings at the Mona Lisa Gallery providing entertainment and lively discussion for members.
But after founders Paul and Gail Casey chose to step back from the group and focus on their art and family commitments, the committee decided 2012’s season would be the last.
Mrs Casey said the group had been just self-sustaining for some time and would have required an injection of new members to remain viable.
The group screened more than 500 films in more than 15 years, some dating back to the 1920s.
For many members, the appeal of reel-to-reel films had not diminished with the arrival of the digital age and, until the end of 2011, the screenings were exclusively 16mm films.
In 2012, the group moved to DVD which increased the range of films available and allowed for more contemporary titles.
Mrs Casey said she loved the atmosphere on screening nights, the anticipation and the discussions afterwards and it was a great meeting place for newcomers to Heathcote.
‘‘People would be happy to turn up, whatever the weather,’’ she said.
‘‘There was a very cosy atmosphere.’’
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