Way back when, Wednesdays

Moonlight flicks in the Valley

Do you remember the Valley Line Drive-in? The Advertiser featured a story on closure of the Valleyline Drive-in Theatre on Tolley Road, St. Agnes, on page 111 of the edition dated Saturday 26 April 2003. After servicing the local area since the 1960s, the Valleyline drive-in closed on Sunday 4 May 2003. The final film to be shown was the comedy Anger Management starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. The site was sold to the Stratco hardware chain.

Valleyline closure

If you have never experienced a drive-in theatre, you did not have to buy individual tickets to see a film. Customers just paid for the cost of your car, which was more economical for families. You parked in a designated area within view of the big screen and fitted a speaker to your car. Later, sound streamed through the car radio. In summer, it was pleasant to sit outside. Given that many older cars had a bench seat in the front, rather than two bucket seats, you could fit an extra kid in your vehicle!

What are your special memories of the Valleyline and what films did you go and see there? Members of our library staff remember the drive in as being good fun “I took my wife there on our first date” and “People beeped their horns when something ‘juicy’ came on the screen.” Another staff member recalls her brother hiding friends in the boot, to get them into Valleyline. Then they set up chairs to watch the movie. Or “I took my boys and they would lie on the bonnet of the car where it was warm.”

Valleyline

The Valleyline drive-in theatre

Drive-ins made a lot of money from canteen sales. You could purchase drinks and foods such as hotdogs, fish and chips, and even steaks at some locations. Unhealthy snack foods might seem ordinary nowadays but in the 1950s and 1960s a hotdog was very American and pretty cool. Being a family friendly venue, staff would even heat up your baby’s bottle. The canteens generally faced the big screen and were fitted out with speakers so the customers did not miss out on the film. There were also children’s play areas, such as swings situated under the big screen.

In the United States drive-ins had been in existence since the world’s first Automobile Movie Theatre opened way back on 6 June 1933. It took an act of Parliament to bring the drive-in to South Australia. During the second half of 1954, members of the South Australian Parliament debated the controversial Places of Public Entertainment Act Amendment Bill. In an era where people dressed up to go out, some parliamentarians feared that there would be a decline in the standard of dress.  Dressing casually and comfortably while sitting in your car would appeal to families and it was a major selling point for the drive-in theatre. Then there was the issue of safeguarding the morality of South Australia’s young people. Some feared that young couples would behave inappropriately while alone in a darkened car in a public place.  Future Premier Don Dunstan, who was a young man at the time, spoke in support of the bill.

Adelaide became the second Australian city (after Melbourne) to get a drive-in theatre when the Blueline at West Beach opened on 28 December 1954.  Valleyline commenced business on Friday 3 December, 1965 and it could accommodate 383 cars  http://www.campbelltown.sa.gov.au  Records differ as to how may drive-in we had theatres in South Australia at the height of their popularity. The article from the Advertiser states that South Australia used to have 24 drive-ins. According to http://www.drive-insdownunder.com.au/australian/sa_modbury.htm South Australia used to have 37 drive-ins.  The City of Campbelltown website states that there were 15 suburban drive-ins just in Adelaide.

Today, there are only two drive-in theatres left in Adelaide. Wallis Cinemas still run the Mainline Drive-in at Gepps Cross, even after having to make costly repairs to the main building when it was damaged by fire in March this year.  Cooper Pedy also has a drive-in, which is operated by community volunteers.  It is worth noting that outdoor cinema has made a comeback!  Moonlight cinema in Botanic Park is still popular and suburban councils hold film screenings in local parks during the summer.

So what factors brought about the demise of this cultural icon?  When most people had black and white television, going to see a film in colour was a novelty. By the 1980s people could watch films on video at home.  It became socially acceptable to dress casually when you went to the cinema.  While some drive-ins had two screens, new multiplex cinemas opened in suburban Adelaide, offering patrons a greater choice of films that screened concurrently, from morning to evening.  During daylight saving, movies shown outdoors have to start later, which is inconvenient for families with young children. The quality of the picture and sound of a film shown at a drive-in theatre could not compete with a film projected in a modern cinema. For example, the screen would appear darker at the drive-in. As drive-in theatres aged and ticket sales fell, operators had to make the decision as to whether it was cost effective to upgrade the equipment and facilities.

#waybackwhenwednesdays

 

Our cat Leo

Year 10 student Sophie was with us for a week’s work experience recently, and decided to write about her beloved Leo, her family’s moggy. Read her story below. 

We got Leo when I was four. We never thought we would get a cat as we had just moved into a house which is right next to a busy road but my mum loves cats so much. The first year Mum would always try to keep Leo in at night so he wouldn’t go wondering, but he soon worked it out and started hiding in the bushes, so Mum couldn’t find him to bring him inside. Leo didn’t seem to be going on the road because he would always be back home the next morning, so we started leaving him outside at night.

Leo was mostly in a playful mood. Even though he passed the kitten stage pretty quickly, he would never give up an opportunity to claw something. You would think he was a playful cat, but in fact, he was mostly scared. He was always hesitant walking through the front door or turning a corner – instead he always liked to be hiding under his favourite bush out in the front yard.

Leo

My beautiful cat Leo

When I turned ten, I started getting bored with Leo and I wanted a dog. I would complain to Mum that Leo wasn’t fun and if we had a dog you could take them on walks and on holidays. When I was eleven we got a dog and named her Lizzie, I was so happy. Lizzie didn’t like Leo but Leo didn’t really care. Leo kept out of the backyard and spent his time inside and out the front, away from Lizzie. I played with Lizzie as much as I could after school. I soon realised as I got older that Lizzie wasn’t as great as I thought she would be. Lizzie would smell, but Leo didn’t. Leo loved cuddles, but Lizzie didn’t. My sister started being great pals with Lizzie and I then went back to loving Leo the most.

On the 23 of January 2015 at 9:11pm (I remember it very clearly) we were watching a movie when mum’s mobile phone rang – it was the local vet. The vet said Leo had been brought in because he had been hit by a car. My mum then asked if she could come and get him the next day (thinking he was OK) but the vet then told mum he didn’t make it. Mum told us what happened and we all started crying. I was then crying for the whole night and the next week.  I couldn’t believe he was gone forever and I would never see him again. It really hurt I didn’t get to say goodbye.

My mum spoke to our neighbours about Leo’s death and they mentioned there had been a dead fox on the road. We now think Leo had been chased by the fox onto the road. I had Leo for eight years and I am glad I have beautiful memories and photos of him. We are not considering getting another cat at the moment but when I am older, have a house of my own and live next to a quiet road I would like to have another cat like Leo.

Way back when, Wednesdays

Retro style at Myer

Did you used to enjoy eating at the restaurant in the Myer store at Tea Tree Plaza, Modbury? On page 22 of the edition dated 15 August 1973, the Leader Messenger promoted the Myer Restaurant in its regular feature Tea Tree Plaza News.

Myer restaurant

The Myer Restaurant was situated on Level 3 of Myer, in the area that is now Ladies Fashion. It offered patrons panoramic views of the Adelaide Hills from a large, rounded rectangular window. You can still see where the restaurant was located if you drive down Smart Road towards Reservoir Road and look for the window above the entrance to level 2 of the store, that faces the car park.

The Myer restaurant was self-service. Self-service was very much in vogue at the time. A customer at the Myer restaurant would line up, take a tray and push it along the guided rails as they proceeded along the servery and selected their meals, paying for their purchases when they reached the cash register.

The advertisement pictured says that the Myer Restaurant would appeal to families but it was a comfortable place for anybody to sit and relax during their time browsing the store. Dining there would transform your shopping trip into a special outing.

You could choose from a range of reasonably priced meals and beverages, including hot food, sandwiches and treats like cakes and colourful jellies. Part of the appeal was looking at the presentation of all of the different foods and choosing what you wanted. The décor was very fashionable for the time, with funky chairs and tables and burnt orange tiles on the walls.

My personal recollection of the Myer Restaurant in the 1990s is enjoying the huge square-cut scones, topped with jam and fresh cream and accompanied by a big mug of hot coffee on an icy winter’s morning. What are some of your memories of dining there?

Myer renovated the restaurant in the years preceding its closure and it introduced table service, which was what customers expected in more modern times.

Some readers might also remember that when the restaurant closed in approximately 2005, Myer donated several large photographic prints depicting our local history to the City of Tea Tree Gully Library. If you know when the Myer Restaurant ceased trading, please let us know.

Everything old is new again. Nowadays we have the IKEA restaurant which is also self-service and offers a range of interesting cuisine, cakes and on occasion that 70’s favourite, chocolate mousse. If it was still in operation, we might view the Myer restaurant as being retro and hip!

#waybackwhenwednesday

Way back when, Wednesdays

Miss Potato Head

We can all remember what we especially liked to eat as kids. Your tastes can change as an adult and sometimes we cringe at the peculiar foods that we used to crave as children. On the other hand, there are foods that we will always love, such as hot chips!

During the first part of 1969 the Leader Messenger featured photographs of little girls enjoying the hot weather. Like cute Nadene Woods who was pictured on the front page of the edition dated 5 March. Her fondness for potatoes started from a young age and she had developed a curious taste for eating them raw.

Potato feast

Unlike other vegetables, potatoes are seldom eaten raw because of their starchy texture and somewhat bland taste. However, some people like to eat them uncooked, seasoned with salt! Raw potatoes don’t increase your blood sugar and they contain more vitamin C, thiamine and riboflavin than the cooked variety.

For those who enjoy the taste of an uncooked spud, take care. Choose fresh, unblemished potatoes. Wash potatoes thoroughly to remove all traces of soil from the skin and peel them to avoid ingesting bacteria and other microorganisms which are usually killed in the cooking process.

Potatoes are full of goodness but it is advisable to eat this raw vegetable in moderation. They are high in starchy carbohydrates, as the main purpose of a tuber is to nurture a new potato plant. Unfortunately humans digest raw starches poorly. Pieces of raw potato pass through the upper intestine and into the lower intestine largely intact. Intestinal bacteria then start to break down the fibrous mass, starting a fermentation process. Fermentation produces gas, which can cause the raw potato eater to experience discomfort through bloating, cramping and flatulence.

Beware of eating a green or sprouted potato, even if it is cooked. Never eat the leaves and stems of the plant itself or any fruit growing above ground. Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family, which protect themselves by producing toxic alkaloids. Potatoes produce solanine and chaconine, both of which are dangerous to humans. Normally a potato tuber harvested underground contains only small amounts of these chemicals.  However, sprouted or green potatoes become high in solanine.  A tuber that’s been bruised, exposed to sunlight or stored for an extended period of time might develop patches of green. The green pigment is chlorophyll, which enables photosynthesis to take place. Once this happens, solanine is present.  Solanine causes diarrhea, nausea, cramping, headaches and in extreme cases organ failure and death http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com,  http://www.livestrong.com/article/523041-the-risks-of-eating-raw-potatoes.

#waybackwhenwednesdays

 

 

 

 

A beautiful cupcake in a world full of muffins

Move over cronuts. Witness the birth of the Lemon Curd Cupcake at the Bake & Brew café.

lemon curd cupcake

This luscious hybrid is indeed a cupcake but it is the size of a muffin! Experience delicious, tangy lemon curd embedded in a light, fluffy sponge base, topped with fresh cream and a cake hat. This beautiful creation is baked in-house. It is the ideal accompaniment to your favourite beverage. Bake & Brew café is situated next to the Tea Tree Gully Library in the Civic Centre. You can enjoy the lemon curd cupcake for $5.00.  The Bake & Brew café is open from 8.45am to 4.00pm from Monday to Friday.  Telephone:  (08) 8397 7383.

 

 

Double dog-eared. We’re not talking books…

Work experience student Tayla has just finished a week with us at the Library. Although she may have a passion for books and libraries, it is dogs that are her true passion.  She tells us the story of finding her current fur-baby.

 

Isn’t it incredible how much a dog means to a person, they truly are man’s best companion. Funny thing is, I never owned a dog but always had wanted too. I never thought that I would get the chance to until my thought suddenly changed. When I was a child, I would non-stop complain about how badly I wanted a cute little puppy. It didn’t matter what I was talking about or discussing with my parents, the fact of owning a dog always came into the talk, at one point I even considered wanting a dingo (being a child, they were the closest look alike to a dog, yet I had little knowledge of what a dingo actually was).

My grandparents had previously owned a Tenterfield Terrier named Kandi.  Kandi was a very rare dog, the runt of the litter. Complexion was completely white like soft fluffy snow, except for her little black head, as dark as charcoal & not any bigger than a tennis ball. Kandi lived for a great amount of time a month under 16 years to be exact, a brilliant life & was just an all-round amazing little rascal. I had been brought up with her for my whole life & when she passed away on the operating table (she had very bad arthritis, went deaf & blind) a large chunk of me went missing. This year, of 2012 was also the year my cat Tabby passed away, also very shattering.

Time had passed since beautiful Kandi had passed away & my grandparents were beginning to get lonely again, so was my sister & I. My grandparents were considering obtaining a new companion. Their decision was made & it was a yes, a yes! A new little dog running around their back yard, a new pet to own but most importantly a new best friend for us. My grandparents went to get the puppy, my mum, dad, sister & I as well (this was a pretty big deal for us as my sister & I got to choose the puppy). We went back to the same breeder to pick the puppy up. There was a picket fence full of dogs, not any bigger than my foot. It was a marvellous sight, if I recall correctly I even shed a tear of joy. You see, my grandma did have a preference, she wanted a little girl & there were only 3 girls to pick from. My sister & I after a long think came to a decision on getting the 1 puppy (yes I did want to keep them all, but sadly couldn’t no matter how hard I persuaded). The young, energetic but also highly timid doggy we chose was later named Ko-Ko (Taking after Kandi, with the K’s). As soon as we brought her home to grandmas, Ko-ko had a bit of a sniff around & then scrambled into hiding behind the barbeque. She was petrified of all the people around her & also being in a new environment. Ko-ko later got used to her new home.

It was Mid 2015, when a few of my pets were no longer with us. My grandma started to notice how down & sad I was looking since they had left. A couple of weeks before Christmas & everyone in my house was starting to get excited about the festival season. AS every year, my parents asked me what my present preferences were & also like every other year ever, I said I wanted a puppy. I ALWAYS got the answer of “Maybe if you keep being good Santa will bring you one” which raised my hopes.

 

When Christmas morning came, I was so excited I tripped through the lounge room door & stubbed my toe, skin in shreds, blood stained carpets, you name it (gross, I know) but I still carried on my adventure to await my gifts. Shortly after I had some time to wake up properly & fix my badly band aided toe, my grandparents arrived which meant PRESENT TIME! I started to unwrap a few things, getting the usual new socks & a few jumpers with some large gifts (Xbox games, iTunes cards, board games) but I still didn’t receive what I had always wanted… My puppy! It got to the last present which had mine & my sisters name, cursively written with gel pen on a silver envelope. A photo with a teeny tiny dog was inside. I then walked up to my mum & grandma sitting together.  I shrieked “awwwwh look at Ko-ko”. My grandma looked at me with a smile, my mum with a smiley smirk, then softly spoke “Tayla, that’s not Ko-ko, that’s your dog” I was practically speechless then what my grandma & mum had said finally settled into my head. Did they really just say MY DOG!? I Then burst into tears of joy… literally. I had got what I had wanted forever & nothing could bring me down.

The day after which was boxing day we went back to the same breeder, to get our new dog, a Tenterfield terrier to carry on the tradition. When we arrived there I showed the lady the photo of the dog. I saw her & picked her up & yet again was in tears of joy from this cute little girl. We took her home, trying to think of a name the whole way back, but just couldn’t quiet think of one that fitted perfectly. When we got through the gate, I was hungry from our long trip so I went inside to eat some food. I got a choc chip muffin. My sister then screamed “MUFFIN” It fitted perfectly for her with her face looking like a chocolate chip muffin itself!  She was then named Muffin. Muffin wasn’t timid like Ko-ko was; she just settled in nicely & started to play with me.

I have now had muffin for 1 ½ years & I can gladly say she has made a huge impact in my life. I take muffin for hour weekly walks in winter & in the summer when the suns beaming bright as laser beams; I try to walk her every day. I feed muffin her morning kibble & smacko making sure she sits & shakes (I taught her these commands), I feed her dinner every night,  wash her bowl giving her nice, ice cold water but I most importantly look after her like she is a child (she’s so spoilt).

I am so grateful to have such a well behaved, playful puppy companion to call my own & would highly recommend the Tenterfield terrier to anyone who is looking into buying a dog as of their placid nature, well being with children, time management (being able to leave them at home alone) & they aren’t much work as of their size. What’s not to love about our licking lovable pets.

Did you know….about Harry Potter

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_CoverWell…who doesn’t know about Harry Potter, right?

Seriously though, did you know that Monday June 26th 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? That’s right, the series about the boy wizard is turning 20!

The book was author JK Rowling’s debut novel and was far from an overnight success. Indeed, Rowling began writing the novel in 1990 while riding on a train. According to an interview the author gave in 2009, the idea just hit her of a boy riding a train to wizard school. The death of her mother influenced much of the writing process.

The book was not well received by publishers and agents who felt that it was too long for a children’s book. That is, until Barry Cunningham of Bloomsbury recommended the publishers accept the book based on the recommendation of his eight-year-old daughter.

With seven books, eight films, a stage play and now a spin-off series of films, the rest, as they say, is history.

The library will be holding events from 10:00-1:00 this Saturday to celebrate the occasion so why not come along or maybe re-read the books, play or films.

BTW – Did you know that the books are actually set in the early-to-mid 1990s? You can work this out from information provided by Gryffindor ghost Nearly Headless Nick. In the Harry Potter and the Chamber of  Secrets, he celebrates his 500th ‘Death Day’ which occurred on October 31st, 1492, meaning that book takes place during 1992-1993!