Ronald (Ron) West has provided the soundtrack at the Majestic Theatre in Pomona, Queensland – the world’s oldest authentic silent movie house – for nearly 50 years.
One day in the 1980s, Ron and his wife Mandy, the then owners of the theatre, ran the movie The Son of the Shiekh. Ron provided the score himself with a restored pipe organ, making the music up as he went along. Word got around and within a few months, the Majestic only showed silent films.
After 30 years of preservation and restoration, Ron sold the Majestic to the Pomona community at below-market value, on an interest-free loan. Ron included everything inside the building at no cost. Now more than 100 years old, the Majestic is run entirely by volunteers – including organist Ron, now in his nineties.
Ron won the Noosa Shire Australia Day Award in 2004 for his contributions to culture and community.