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Actor and filmmaker

Portrait of a woman in a frame with floral embellishments and an image of a scroll with the text. - click to view larger image
Lottie Lyell, 1919

Lottie Lyell was Australia’s first movie star. She was also a screenwriter, editor, art director and business manager.

In her short career, she appeared in at least 17 films and, with director Raymond Longford, collaborated on many more. Set against a distinctly Australian background, these films played on the contrasts between city and country, upper and working class, and England and Australia.

By 1914 movies had become a national obsession. Humble suburban picture palaces and grand city theatres catered to a wide audience. Programs included several short non-fiction films, some comedies, a newsreel and a feature. Cheaper than the theatre, a trip to the pictures was an escape available to many.

Black and white photo of a large crowd of people in an open air cinema with hand written text 'THE FAMOUS BRONTE PICTURE PALACE THE PRIDE OF THE EASTERN SUBURBS',
The Bronte Picture Palace, Sydney


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