Paddy Baker – Picture Show Man
by Max D. Bell
ISBN 978-0-85905-093-7, (2011 new), 53pp, A4, illustrated, 180grams
$22.00* + POST
Paddy Baker (1898-1988) was born in Yundamindra on the north-eastern goldfields of W.A. As a boy he became an assistant projectionist to a travelling picture man in Sandstone, and his love of films and their showing never left him.
From this start he developed his Baker’s Photo Plays De Luxe and it grew into a large round of picture showings in the goldfields and wheatbelt with many drive-in theatres. In 1951 Paddy purchased the Subiaco Regal Theatre which remained the centre of his interests until his death. He gave his beloved Regal to a Trust where it remains to this day. He is renowned among film buffs for his contribution to the popular cultural life of WA in times of war and depression.
The author, Max Bell was born at Cottesloe in 1942. He gained his Diploma of Agriculture but due to ill health shifted to Perth, taking on a variety of positions before the opportunity to become head projectionist at Perth’s oldest cinema, the New Oxford Theatre in Leederville. He had, for many years, been operating part time l6mm film shows for clubs and societies around Perth. He had his own picture show concern for two years, screening 16mm feature films in the Guildford Town Hall, but video soon killed his project.
Max first met Paddy Baker in 1973. In the forthcoming years Paddy Baker was to give great assistance to the author in the preparation of his book on cinema history in W.A., involving nearly eight years research and published in 1984.