Bob Lucas Australian Cinema Archive
An archival collection relating to Australian cinema, collected by Robert (Bob) Lucas, who was the Chief Technician of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Australia. The archive dates from 1927 to 1987.
Robert Lucas commenced work as a lolly boy at the Haymarket Theatre in the mid 1920s and was employed by MGM in the late 1920s. Robert remained an employee of MGM for 45 years until his retirement in 1973 as the chief technical officer. This archive documents his life and career in cinema exhibition from the mid 1920s to the late 1980s. It offers a highly detailed and personal insight into the activities of the chief technical officer of a premier cinema chain. The archival material includes high quality commercial photographic prints of now demolished cinema interiors such as 'The Regent' / 'Plaza Talkies' (Melbourne) and records of the controversy surrounding the introduction of drive-in cinemas in Australia. The period covered by the archive demonstrates the changing culture in the presentation, promotion and technology of theatrical exhibition - ranging from the richly illustrated and quirky 1930s Loewe's theatre management training manual to prospectuses for new theatre multiplex developments of the 1980s. The donor's archive is rich in images, offers technical detail and illustrates a colourful life and career in cinema exhibition. There are also a number of objects in the Powerhouse collection that support and complement the archival material. These were also donated by the Lucas family and include projectors, projector lenses, cinema audio amplification system and cinema testing and measuring instruments.
Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright.
By appointment - Powerhouse Archives
Selected material is available on the Powerhouse Museum Website. Further material is held at the museum. A PDF guide to the full archive is available on the Museum Website (2007/191/1).
Archives; Correspondence; Photographs
Bob Lucas; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer