Errol helps save south South Island from broken bottles, monkey parades, idle, dissolute and aimlessly wandering youths.
from THE SOUTHLAND TIMES (April 2017)
“The first Sunday movie screening in Invercargill was in February 1910 when there was a “cinematograph entertainment” on a Sunday to aid the hospital fund.
After lying low for many years the issue arose again in 1961.
The arguments were predictable. Most churches waved their arms in horror at the thought that a day of rumination and self-flagellation should be polluted with entertainment, yet the dissolute youths of the town needed films of good character to stop them breaking bottles.
GC Tapper told the council committee investigating the question, “Although not enthusiastic about picture theatres being open on Sundays I now hold the view that something must be done about the idle youths wandering aimlessly about the streets on Sunday evenings and a six month trial with suitable films is now definitely called for.”
The Baptist Union said, “We consider that it is a violation of the sacredness of the Lord’s Day upon which our Christian community is based. We do not believe that there is any evidence of a real need for this because, from observation, there has not been seen any large groups of young people aimlessly wandering our streets on a Sunday night.”
The Catholic Church said, “There is no objection to the screening of films on Sundays. Once our people have fulfilled their obligation of worshipping God on Sundays, they may take part in any form of lawful recreation.”
Another submitter said, “If the opening of cinemas on Sunday evenings would reduce monkey parading, why does it not do so on Saturday evenings or Bank holidays when they are open. Furthermore, increasing facilities for Sunday sports, and the official recognition and sanction of them, have already drawn thousands of young people from the church services and robbed the Sunday Schools of their teachers.”
The Master of Ballantrae, a movie of an improving nature, was screened on Sunday, March 12, 1961. The Master of Ballantrae was a 1953 British Technicolorfilm starring Errol Flynn. It was an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novel of the same name.”
— Gentleman Tim