City Hall Theatre named after back of town boy
The Earl Cameron Theatre was officially named yesterday in a ceremony attended by a large number of dignitaries as well as many family members and friends of the well-known Bermuda-born actor, who travelled from his home in England for the ceremony.
He has appeared in movies such as the Oscar winning The Queen with Helen Mirren, the James Bond classic Thunderball and The Interpreter with Nicole Kidman.
Speakers at the event honouring the 95-year-old, held in the auditorium of the newly-named theatre, emphasised that Mr Cameron had grown up on Angle Street, and the City of Hamilton was honouring one of its own.
Mr Cameron himself said that it was on Angle Street, at The Aeolian Hall, where he had seen a black and white film, his first movie.
I used to watch these films — I was about five or six years of age. My sister took me to see the matinees in the afternoons. He particularly remembered cowboy films, like Hoot Wilson, and many others.
Speakers also spoke of the symbolic significance of the event. During the ceremony, Mr Cameron said many mountains had been removed and called it the dawning of a new day. After unveiling a bronze plaque and new sign denoting The Earl Cameron Theatre, he recounted how he had performed in the title roll on the then-named City Hall stage in 1970 in the play Life of Galileo, by Bertolt Brecht, the first time black and white actors had come together in a dramatic production.
Good came of this; up to this time we had white dramatic groups and black dramatic groups, but in this particular production we all mixed together. We had a complete mixed cast. It was the first time, he said. Theres something symbolic about (the renaming of the theatre) in a strange way.
Introducing Mr Cameron, The Royal Gazette columnist Ira Philip called the ceremony, as yet another manifestation of the new spirit prevailing at Hamilton City Hall. Specifically, I allude to the rebirth of our capital city and the collapse of an archaic political system whose mantra was rooted in the incipient features of gerrymandering, race, class and privilege — a system that is now buried in the lawns of history.
Hamiltons Mayor Graeme Outerbridge said the decision to name the theatre after Mr Cameron was the first the new Corporation had made after the Spring municipal elections.
Councillor George Scott, who had proposed the resolution, recounted that Mr Camerons film Pool of London was banned from being shown in Bermuda, while today the municipal elections for the first time included voters who reside in Hamilton, making the renaming of the theatre after the actor, who called himself a back of town boy — very much so — thats my background and Im very happy and proud of it, an appropriate tribute for the Corporation to make.
In Bermuda for about three weeks, it is also planned that he will visit schools to give a series of talks.
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