Film industry history needs a home

Film at your fingertips: Dick Collingridge’s extraordinary collection of film and TV memorabilia
Film at your fingertips: Dick Collingridge’s extraordinary collection of film and TV memorabilia

A Turramurra TV and film director want to turn his huge collection of film and photographic equipment into a hand-on museum for locals – but he needs to find a home for it.

The huge collection of over 3,000 pieces includes projectors made in the 1850s which used candles for projection, right up to the latest digital cameras. “It’s a living archive and represents the Australian film industry,” said Dick Collingridge, a producer and director from the then Film Australia.

Dick, who’s been behind lenses of one sort or another for 50 years and was the man tasked with wiring up the City of Sydney with eight open-air screens to watch the Olympics, is hoping to attract backing by a benefactor. He’s made various approaches to get help to buy premises somewhere on the North Shore.

The collection, currently squeezed into his Turramurra home to the chagrin of his wife Louise, also includes a giant camera crane used by the infamous Graham Kennedy show in the seventies and now parked in his driveway, a highly-prized $125,000 11” tape audio and video recorder, and crystal sets from the 1920s.

The collection had been acquired over 15 years – “things just literally turn up on my doorstep –  and I have 20 other film collectors from around NSW all ready to donate their entire collections to me once a home is found, including working TV studios and outside broadcasting units from Channel 7.

“It’s incredible that there’s nothing else in NSW that champions the film industry like this museum would.

“I want it to be hands-on so kids can make films and people can play with editing systems and record themselves, to bring the medium alive.”

Anyone willing to donate premises or help in the hunt for a suitable home for the remarkable collection, call Dick at: dcprod@bigpond.com

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