J L Kelly Memorial Building:
76 Townsville Rd Ingham
Phone: 07 4776 3434
Since 1953 Ingham’s J L Kelly Theatre has been providing
a valuable service to Ingham
The theatre opened June 1953 as the Kelly Memorial Hall in memory of James Lawrence Kelly.
Councillor Kelly served almost continuously as Shire Chairman from 1936 until his sudden death in November 1952.
Usually referred to as the ‘Library Hall’ due to the fact that the Municipal Library occupied the upper level of the building the lower level consisted of offices and a Hall with the first tenant was the well renowned Dr. J W Markwell along with a selection of lawyers, civil engineers and surveyors.
Offices were also used as temporary premises of the Cane Growers’ organisation and the Commercial Bank while their own buildings were under construction.
1978 the Library moved into the High Park Centre, the upper floor was used for Council offices.
The Hall was suitable for dances and wedding receptions and was used heavily during the 50s and early 60s for Saturday evening dances. It was very popular as a dance venue during the cane season when an “Italian band” would often play.
In order to meet the ever changing needs of the Ingham community in 1987 the hall was redeveloped with an auditorium on the lower level featuring raked seating and carpeted walls. The upper level was designated as an exhibition area.
It was re-opened on October 10 and renamed: The J. L. Kelly Theatre.
The opening ceremony was performed by Mr. John Noble, General Manger of CSR Limited’s Sugar Division, as recognition of the role that CSR played in the Herbert River district for over 100 years.
Following on from this major refurbishment the theatre has under gone many renovation processes to fully meet the new requirements and they include:
• Upgrade to Air-conditioning System (2010 to 2012)
• Upgrade to Lighting Bars in Cinema 1 (2011)
• Upgrade to Seating in Cinema 1 (2009 to 2011)
• Upgrade to Amenities (2009)
• Upgrade to Curtains in Cinema 1 (2009)
• Upgrade to Sound Mixer (2009)
• Building Maintenance Upgrade including new kitchen, painting of various areas etc. (2013)
• 2013 Kelly Theatre Digital Upgrade details were:
o Installation of 2D Digital Projector and Pedestals for Cinema 1 and Cinema 2
o Installation of Audio Equipment appropriate to both Cinema 1 and Cinema 2
o Additional Server, cabling, power and cooling requirements for both Cinemas
o Electrical works which included the installation of projectors & exhaust system
o Training of Staff for the new system
The J L Kelly Theatre has and always will be Ingham’s own and now as a cinema and a live venue she will continue to serve for many years to come.
These historical photos are part of the Local History Collection, a special collection held at the Hinchinbrook Shire Library. Photos are used with permission from the Hinchinbrook Shire Council.
Ingham picture theatre & Ingham cinema.
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