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Ten Year Anniversary

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  • Ali Hipperson
    replied
    Haha Graham - well at least if your old boss had 'ignited' himself via his pipe, at least for any footage you might have taken - you wouldn't have needed any additional lighting! 😉

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  • Graham Ritchie
    replied
    Thanks Ali

    I sent this one to his mum Facebook yesterday as a " A blast from the past"

    When I look back I should have made more of a attempt to capture onto film or video the work carried out by folk at some of those places. The old Balaclava Garage in Dunoon, would have been certainly one, as some of the brake down jobs we did were very interesting. I still have the image in my mind, of my old boss lighting up his pipe while standing next to tanker leaking some diesel around him until I pointed out to what he was "standing" on a little Standard 8mm would have been great to take along back then

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  • Ali Hipperson
    replied
    Wow Graham! That whole procedure looks about as difficult and delicate as open-heart surgery!! 😯

    But a young person, like Chris with his steady young hands, seemed to effect such a change with total aplomb! 🙂

    Another great video - many thanks 👍

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  • Graham Ritchie
    replied
    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.

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  • Ali Hipperson
    replied
    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 🙂

    Ali.

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  • Stuart Budd
    replied
    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.

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

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  • Stuart Budd
    replied
    I didn't find much about it.
    https://alittlebitofstone.com/2013/0...se-cinema/amp/
    This link has a show guide from 1938. It also points to facebook but I don't have an account for that.

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  • Graham Ritchie
    replied
    Thanks for the link Stuart, interesting to note it had been operating since 1934.

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  • Stuart Budd
    replied
    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!
    http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/40202
    Just made it to 1980.

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  • Graham Ritchie
    replied
    Well today is the 18th of November tiday, exactly 10 years. The years have certainly passed quickly.
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  • Graham Ritchie
    replied
    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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  • Graham Ritchie
    replied
    I should add that the owners did give me a farewell present when the place closed, and what a job bringing it home

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  • Graham Ritchie
    replied
    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.

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  • Dave Groves
    replied
    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.

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