With the inventory of the contents of the Picture House in progress the group has also been doing some research into some of the people of the Picture House. The Managing Director and co-founder F. Rendell Burnette has proved to be a larger than life character, and the first Manager Mr George Findlay Roger was a successful photographer who owned a succession of studios before and during his time with the Picture House.
The group is also interested in the people and social history of the performers who came to Campbeltown before the Picture House opened. One name we came across in a local newspaper advert was that of Prince Bendon. William John Turpin took the stage name of Prince Bendon in the 1880s when he began his performing life as a ventriloquist. He toured the concert halls with some very well known acts of the day. The entertainments offered in the 1890s were evolving rapidly and Bendon soon began to work with his Bioscope which provided animated films which supplemented his variety shows. He also made some films, and through this activity he changed direction in his career and became a film renter. Over the years his business developed and his company distributed films in Scotland, often bringing the newest films before they arrived in London. He established the Glasgow cinema club, the first of its kind in Britain, and started Scotland’s first film studio in Glasgow, the firm eventually being sold to United Artists after his death.
I hope there will be more intriguing people to find out about in the weeks to come. Would you like to help?
The Share Certificate of George F. Roger