FOLLOWING on from our series of reminiscences on Stranocum Reading Room, we have been contacted by another reader with a fascinating story about the much-loved community hall.
Having read James McIlhatton’s memories last week about the film which were shown in the Reading Room (PICTURED RIGHT) , one of the men responsible for screening the movies got in touch.
Willie McLean from Rasharkin told the Times that he and a friend used to be charged with screening the films in the early 1960s when a man called Willie King was in charge.
James told us that one of the most popular films at the time which they were asked to acquire was the John Wayne classic “The Quiet Man”.
“The Quiet Man was what Willie wanted and that’s what we got,” said Willie.
Willie also told how Mr King always requested that, at the end of the film, the National Anthem was played, accompanied by a picture of Queen Elizabeth at the end of the film reel.
“We managed this by attaching a section of film showing the Queen to the end of the film we had shown that night,” explained Willie.
“Then we played the reel and the picture of the Queen was shown at the same time as the National Anthem was played.
“This worked fine on every occasion until one night when my friend somehow managed to attach the film the wrong way.
“When we played the National ANthem, there appeared the Queen upside down, standing on her head!
“As two Catholics in charge of the film, we thought the audience might have thought we did this on purpose.
“We did think we were going to be in deep trouble in the Reading Room that night,” joked Willie.
“But everyone knew it was just a mistake and were fine about it.”