This film shows family fun activities at a seaside picnic in New Plymouth. It is typical of many early New Zealand films, shot locally and quickly processed and screened in local cinemas within days, always attracting a large crowd eager to see themselves on screen. The East End Annual Picnic took place on 25 January 1912 and this film first screened 31 January, in this.
The Taranaki Herald reported that: “[o]ne has grown so accustomed to the apathy and lack of enterprise amongst our local businessmen that Mr Saunder's latest development of his business, in the excellent series of local pictures, produced from his own plant last night, is all the more commendable. Moving pictures of the seaside Picnic At the East End... drew an immense crowd to the New Theatre. Long before 8 o'clock the pit and the unreserved part of the rest of the house was crowded. (I was going to say to suffocation, but the electric fans provided against that.) It was quite evident that the local element in the programme was providing a big draw. The building is meant to accommodate 630 people with seats. The number present last night when the 1st picture was thrown upon the screen must have been nearer 800 and the only disappointed ones in the huge crowd were those who could not gain admittance... As scene after scene was unfolded before the audience, parents joyfully recognising their own particular 'Jimmys' and 'Nellies' and some groups of merry makers, gave vent to their feelings in little suppressed exclamations of satisfaction... Mr Saunders is to be heartily congratulated on his having obtained the services of such an expert operator as Mr Haughton, who took the Picture”. (Taranaki Herald, 1 February 1912)
Children at edge of sea, shorts & skirts tucked up. Boys in swimming costumes at rear in waves.
Small children at waves' edge. Older boys in the waves.
Closer shot of same.
Shot of crowd all looking towards camera.
Close ups of tape chewing competition; string set out with tapes hanging from it, each boy or girl chews tape with speed.
Young men on pole over river fight mock battle. Canoe on river. At head of picture legs of observers dangle from bridge overhead.
Lolly scramble, children picking up sweets from the ground.
Boy riding barrel on greasy pole over river, falls in water. Repeated by other boys. Boat goes upstream.
Crowd at rear watching children compete in sticky bun contest. Buns on string set along a line. Boys eat with hands behind back. Man with megaphone.
Children at edge of sea, paddling, some stare at camera.
Young men in togs, pickaback fights at water's edge, approach camera.
Scene of children jumping in waves at water's edge, dog. [first shots repeat.]
Shot of crowd [25' repeat] Plus pan across left to man with white panama hat and light jacket at pole for sticky buns contest.