Before we had television at home, my parents invested in a film projector. Each weekend Dad would bring home three films from a library in town. We enjoyed these over the three nights. Usually there was one documentary, one cowboy and one comedy film. Thus we had quite a variety.
As we grew up, we used set up the projector on the kitchen table and the screen (probably a sheet) over the front door. We then invited our young friends in to watch charging the grand ticket price of one penny. They sat in the hall and up the stairs.
This interest in films stayed with me. During my decade or so teaching in PNG in International Schools an interesting project emerged. I was enabled with other colleagues and friends to set up a film library and film-showing unit. A team would travel out of town into a designated village after school. In the cool of the evening, we announced a film show for about an hour or so. People would gather in groups and soon everyone would be settled in for the show.
An extension of the concept in the town was to organise a Film Festival for a week. Five or six films would be chosen and then venues arranged throughout the market-town and then rotate the films each night. The attendence was great and the interest high.
Later, we progressed to taking film crews by light aircraft to remoter areas. This was usually at the weekends. Folk were alerted. Villagers would drift in from all over the mountainside to watch the open-air show. One of the favourite films was called Morabe and was in the bridge-language of Pidgin-English. It told the story of sons that asked their father to forward their inheritance to them and they set off for the big city – the capital. Of course only one returned and he was derelict. It was a film commissioned by the government to address the high incidence of urban drift. It lasted about 2.5 hours and I rarely if ever saw anyone sleeping, young or old. They were rivetted to the screen.