Snow Kenna - Outback Picture Man

Snow Kenna
The enthusiastic 'Snow' Kenna.
Pioneer Theatre
The old pioneer Theatre

Snow Kenna was born in Rockhampton , Queensland in 1897, before moving to Cloncurry, and eventually coming to Alice Springs in 1934.
Soon after he arrived the Underdown family built the Capitol Theatre on a block opposite their Alice Springs Hotel at the corner of Hartley St and Gregory Tce and Snow leased and operated this until he built his own Pioneer Theatre at the corner of Parsons St and Leichhardt Tce in 1942.
In 1965 he opened the Pioneer Drive-In Theatre on a large block south of town on the Stuart Hwy.
He died in August of the same year and the theatres were acquired by the Greater Union chain.
He was one of the financiers of the Alice Springs Memorial Club and was a member of the Central Australian Racing Club committee.
A park is dedicated to him at the western end of the footbridge where he originally showed films in the old town hall which stood on the site.
The old Capitol Theatre has long gone, but the Pioneer Theatre remains as a backpacker hostel and the Drive in will be seen to the west of the Stuart Highway on the way to the airport.

Copyright Peter W. Wilkins