ALLAN COLLINS – 2022 QUEENSLAND CINEMA PIONEER OF THE YEAR
Allan Collins has certainly been around – I reckon most people in the Industry would not know of anyone who has worked in more Cinemas than this bloke!
Moreover, Allan would have witnessed a particular event in the Metro Goldwyn-Mayer history that has rarely been repeated!
Allan’s story starts as an assistant projectionist at the Regent in 1956. He moved to the Cinema George in the early 1970s and then moved to Canberra to work at the Civic Cinema from 1971 to 1973.
Allan returned to Queensland and operated the Boomerang Theatre from 1973 to 1977. He also did stints at Graceville, the Galaxy Drive-In, Capalaba Drive-In, Redcliffe Drive-In, Mermaid Cinemas, Paris Cinema. Allan went on to become Chief Projectionist at Hoyts 8, Garden City Megaplex and Pacific Fair. Allan was great mates with Damien Farrell and Brian Walters throughout his time in the Industry.
Allan rates Forrest Gump (Paramount Pictures 1994) and Ben-Hur (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1959) as his two favourite movies.
It was when Allan was screening Ben-Hur that he would have witnessed the rare event mentioned above. As most would remember, MGM movies started with Leo the Lion roaring – sometimes though the MGM Lion was silent and in the 60’s briefly disappeared altogether. But in Ben-Hur Leo the Lion is shown in still-frame so as to appear looking more peaceful. This is the one of only three times that this has happened in the history of MGM – I wonder if Allan noticed!
Allan has seen many changes in the industry, including being the inaugural projectionist at the opening of the AMC Sunnybank Plaza 8 Cinemas on March 30th 1995. Sunnybank boasted the latest in high-tech, digital surround sound and luxury high backed lumbar supported seats.
Allan then moved to Birch Carroll & Coyle’s Pacific Fair Cinemas for a short while before becoming Chief Projectionist at Birch Carroll & Coyle’s new Garden City Megaplex in December 1998. He remained there for 6 months before returning to Pacific Fair Cinemas as Chief Projectionist remaining there until his retirement in 2010.
Through his time at Pacific Fair, the complex hosted the Australian Movie Convention. The Convention put a lot of pressure on the projection staff but Allan always soldiered on in his casual yet professional manner – a true showman!