A trip down memory lane

April 14, 2017

LOOKING BACK: Film students Hugo Hugeraj, Madeline Milsom and Jacob Cookson are shooting a film about the old drive in theatre.

The former Shepparton drive-in might be long gone, but thanks to the work of some budding university students it will be preserved in a special film.

Deakin University film student Madeline Milsom was in town this week to capture the stories from people with fond memories of the Twilight Drive-In.

The once bustling drive-in first opened in the 1950s, and was a popular hangout for people in Shepparton and beyond for several decades.

Ms Milsom was given the task at university to make a short documentary movie about ‘‘change’’.

‘‘I was thinking of how we were losing our old heritage buildings and then I started thinking about the drive-in because it reminds me of my childhood very much,’’ she said.

‘‘And because it has been there since the ‘50s I guess it represents a lot of people’s childhoods.’’

At the peak of its popularity there were more than 300 drive-in theatres in cities and towns across the country.

But as the decades rolled on, many of the once bustling drive-ins closed down, with the large parcels of land used for housing developments or shopping centres.

The Twilight Drive-In showed its last film in 2005, on a site which now houses Riverside Plaza.

Ms Milsom spoke to a number of people with a history at the theatre for the film, as well as a former projectionist, and a person who has claimed to have salvaged the drive-in billboard.

Their stories have been captured on camera for the documentary, which she has worked on with two other students from Deakin.

An avid film lover, she said there was something lost when the former theatre closed down which today’s youth will, sadly, never get to experience.

‘‘When I went as a kid it was already dying, there would only be about five other cars there,’’ she said.

‘‘I guess in its peak going to the drive-in was like an event, and now these things are just lost.’’

She plans to share the short documentary with the Shepparton community once it is finished, and is also working on a longer documentary about cinema in Shepparton as a future project.

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