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Ten Year Anniversary

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  • Ten Year Anniversary

    Well folks it will have been 10 years next month when the cinema closed, hard to believe the years have past so quick, anyway the last few weeks I have been working on the original video tapes, in an attempt to get better picture quality than the video I up-loaded a while back, plus it also gave me a chance to change and add a little bit, you might say its now the directors cut

    This is the final video of the place, its interesting that years later after the place closed, the young lady rolling the ice creams told me after I bumped into her working in a cafe, that her friends would not believe that she once worked in a cinema and had rolled ice creams. Only when she showed them later the video copy I gave her from way back in 2011 they then believed her.

    So there you go, its not just a record of the cinema itself but of the people that once worked there, something to show "there" kids.

  • #2
    Very nice Graham, bittersweet memories for you I am sure. One thing I know is that those young people will never forget working at Movieland. My daughter worked at a cinema here in Orlando when she was in high school and still talks about the great time she had there.


    • #3
      So true Paul.

      The projectionist in the video moved in up the road where we live, and is now married with two wee ones and very busy being a registered electrician, doing very well. When he worked at the cinema I did suggest to "get a trade" like electrical and that's what he did, "go where the money is" . working at the cinema for the young is only ever temporary stepping stone in my view, but its certainly for them a great start.


      • #4
        Fascinating little piece Graham. Must have been heartbreaking to take those final pictures as everything went under the wreckers ball. Two observations: 1. How spotlessly clean the projection suite appeared and 2. How young the boy running the show was. Were lads often used unsupervised or was the cameraman the chief projectionist? How long did the cinema last and why did it close? Was there no other cinema near for you to transfer to or had you had enough? Forgive the questions but I'm curious by nature.


        • #5
          Hi Dave

          The projection room was very roomy I used to joke with the manager about fitting a pool table in. When we closed for a four week period for a cinema refit new seats etc, five years before its final shutting. I was then offered a extra 4 weeks pay to go on holiday. I did take that offer in part, but talked to the owners about an offer by myself and the other full time projectionist to come in and give the projection room a re-paint, so they gave us $500 dollars for paint etc which we did. After the place re-opened, the owners did come into the projection room to see where there $500 dollars had gone and were very pleased with the results .

          The thing is, if you are going to spend a lot of time there, why not make it nice as well, if you have visitors to show around it looks good

          Chris was employed at 15 years to do one night a week. The idea was I could get out of the place at 6.30pm he could come in and run things until 11.30pm and do his school work there. He took to the job like a duck to water, so I extended his hours more and more. All up with no previous experience about 16 hours training how to thread the projectors and platters to start with. Finding anyone to do projection work for part time, is impossible, getting Chris doing it from our present downstairs staff worked out really well.

          No supervision was required I gave him a spare set of keys to the place and said its yours although many thought I was nuts doing this, I had full confidence in him carrying out the job, which for me meant less time spent there, which I was really keen on. He never let me down, the films always started on time, in focus and sound levels just right, plus "never" got scratched. He took pride in what he did and enjoyed working there. The manager gave him a amazing written working reference when he left, stating in it.. quote and he showed me this ...."he was the find of the century" so there you have it. I don't look at age as a barrier, its having the right attitude and most importantly "enthusiasm" for the job, the rest "the learning" simply falls into place.

          The cameraman me was employed as the chief projectionist at that time, in saying that I never looked at it, that I was in charge, more of a member of a small team doing there thing with films and projectors and letting others working there, to just get on with it in there way. As long as the films started on time and we never got complaints from customers I was happy .

          I did the weekly film schedule and that was fun, plus being involved in picking out the films along with the manager, often joking who was picking the most duds being a small independent cinema we picked out the films "we wanted" for the place going through the list for the next six months of films from all the film distributers. School holidays was always full of kids films, that was our bread and butter, after the holidays we could afford to try out different things as we had already made our money from the holidays. The final closer was not due to the cinema not making money, in fact we were doing very well, but was due to the mall expansion program, with a new and large department store being built where the cinema was, basically it had to go for the mall to expand.

          For me, the 10 years projecting etc was enough, it was time to move on, just like my previous jobs in the motor trade and aviation. I always thought, that in any job since I left school at 15 years, that there is "a time to stay and a time to go" the cinema had served its purpose, it was time to go.


          • #6
            I should add that the owners did give me a farewell present when the place closed, and what a job bringing it home


            • #7
              Came across one of the last weekly film schedule I used to do, after the last school holidays finished I would cut things back. Making it all work was always a challenge, what films were doing well, to keep, ones to go, and making sure I kept to our screening contracts with the film distributers. Looking back I remember getting a phone call at home do you want Australia second release. It was a film we had turned down due to it coming out in summer here and the long running time. As we were now getting into winter I thought I would give it a go, and to my surprise Australia did very well as many folk had not seen it during its release as it had been summer, now winter it as a different story, and as such it did well, we ran that one for months

              There was always a bit of trial and error with doing the weekly schedule, it was never perfect, but tried to get the best out of the three screens we had, in general though it did work. The 35mm projectors must have clocked up a huge number of hours over the years.
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              • #8
                Well today is the 18th of November tiday, exactly 10 years. The years have certainly passed quickly.
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                • #9
                  Every generation has its loses of one sort or another. Take comfort in knowing that 100 years from now people will try to remember and collect as much of the past as we do today. My brother worked as a projectionist in the 70's in my home town as was then. I don't remember much about it myself, he's 10 years my senior. It too closed and I don't think it made it to the 80s!
                  Just made it to 1980.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the link Stuart, interesting to note it had been operating since 1934.


                    • #11
                      I didn't find much about it.
                      This link has a show guide from 1938. It also points to facebook but I don't have an account for that.


                      • #12
                        Thanks Stuart I checked out the Facebook page as well "Stone" also looks like a nice place to live.


                        • #13
                          It's my birth town, well just up the road, Walton. I was a home baby, still am It's changed alot over the years though as I'm sure your neck of the woods have.


                          • #14
                            It's a fantastic video Graham and the fact that someone as young as Chris was at the time takes me back to that age and wishing I had been given that same opportunity given my own passion for the actual projection process itself 🙂



                            • #15
                              Thanks Ali

                              One thing we did that folk never saw was changing the Xenon lamp. The reason was mainly safety, so we would suggest that no one comes into the projection room while it was being undertaken. Even in a cold state Xenon lamps can explode, although very rare, you still have to very careful with them as they are "extreme pressure" lamps, which do increase as they heat up, but even in a cold state its a good idea to respect them. Although I did most of lamp changing myself, I was not always there, so the projectionist that was on should be able to change one if required.

                              I made a short video back then, of one of those lamp changes, this one was on the Kinoton projector, note the safety gear, its not worth taking a chance without it.