Moe Fairsky

Opened: 1964
Location: Moe, Victoria
Capacity: 500
Screens: One
Operator: Connelly, Donnelly & Flynn
Closed: 1998

Brief history:
The Fairsky certainly was a survivor, but alas it is no more. Old Rex Donnelly finally called it a day in 1998 when heart trouble forced him to sell the drive-in his father Alf built back in 1964.


A plain jane sign, but still standing defiantly to this day.

The name Fairsky is from the Sitmar ship that took Alf on a cruise to the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. A typical brick (orange) construction common in the 1960's it was located in pleasant surrounds on the far side of Moe. Cinemeccanica Victoria 8's and a platter were housed in the projection room. Cine-fi AM and speakers were available. (The projectors are now at the Westgarth cinema in Northcote, a Melbourne suburb).


Here comes a car, run to the ticket box, Rex!

I visited one night in the late 1980's. As I approached the ticket box I saw Rex run to man it, he sold me the ticket and I found my position on the ramp. I wandered into the diner for a hamburger and it was Rex who took my order, cooked it and you guessed it, rang it up on the cash register! I visited the projection room to have a look and to my disappointment, Rex was nowhere to be seen, a projectionist was threading up. The picture on the screen was a good brightness for a drive-in and I noticed that they were screening some films as supports in the following weeks that I had not heard of before.


Diner and projection booth among neatly hung ramps of speakers

This drive-in boasted the unique Peter Ricketts designed "Fog Screen". When the fog became too heavy to continue on the main screen, the projected image changed to a smaller screen sitting on top of the projection building. A very clever idea and the only drive-in in the world I have heard of doing this.


The screen is fine here in the late 1980's, but in the latter years it was in bad need of a paint! Cows roam under it today.

Moe R.I.P.

 

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