Children line up to go to see “The Call Of The Wild” featuring Buck the Marvel Dog on Saturday 1 October, 1927 in Wanganui. In a steady stream they walk past a sweet shop window and into Wanganui’s Duchess Theatre. An advertisement in the Wanganui Chronicle 1 October 1927 announces ”all children attending this Matinee will be photographed by the “movie man”.
This was the basis for much of early New Zealand film making - local films of local events and people, for local audiences, squeezing in as many people as possible, completed quickly and shown within days. A Taranaki Herald report from 1912 describes the rest -
“It was quite evident that the local element in the programme was proving a big draw... 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” or ‘Nellies’ and some groups of merry makers, gave vent to their feelings in little supressed exclamations of satisfaction.”