Showing 51 - 75 of 116 comments found
Thanks very much. When you went up the stairs to the classic, you had no idea it was actually in the building next door – fiendishly clever…..
I attended a summer show at the ABC on one occasion, featuring Bruce Forsyth and Millicent Martin. My opinion of both of them increased dramatically as a result.
Take a look at this, to see the technology in place during 2000. A film by Fred J.Fullerton, which will be of interest to ‘techies’ everywhere.
I visited this cinema on business in 1976, when it was still a single screen. The thing I remember most was the massive projection suite, which extended cross the entire back wall of the theatre. There was also a toilet in one corner, if I remember correctly.
Looking at the first of the pictures posted on Oct 3, I thought I remembered going to a small cinema located above the bingo hall in THIS building, rather than the one next door. I’m sure it was accessed via one of the blue doors to the lower left front of the facade. Does anybody ELSE remember this, or have I had a COMPLETE brainstorm for the last 20 years or so?
The Embassy closed for a few days in the mid 1970’s to enable ‘Sensurround Sound’ to be installed. It re-opened with ‘Earthquake’, which I was lucky enough to see on opening day. This also represented an early instance of ‘separate performances’ in an out-of-town venue. Following all the hype, I well remember queueing outside, as well as feeling the rumble through all the closed doors, with a certain amount of trepidation. Don’t forget that, at this time, sound quality often wasn’t great, and the employment of subwoofers in local cinemas was unheard of.
The extreme LF content of the soundtrack was certainly impressive as a part of THIS movie’s experience, as it was for ‘Battle of Midway’ – for obvious reasons. ‘Rollercoaster’ also employed a sensurround track, but this wasn’t so effective. Also, by the time that movie was released, ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Close Encounters’ were on the scene, and audio quality in local screens was improving rapidly.
If the previous link doesn’t work, follow this one and enter ‘cinema uxbridge road’ into the search area at the top of the page
Whilst trawling through the ealing council website on another matter, I found the following link which refers to the planning consent for the new 16 screen cinema. Most interestingly, it shows exactly how big the new development is going to be.
It would be interesting to know what the building looked like INSIDE during the final years, considering what it looked like OUTSIDE. It’s amazing to think that a building in that state could still be open.
Saw ‘G-Force 3D’ in screen 8 this week – stunning! Picture quality was fantastic, and sound was the best I’ve heard in this multiplex. It was certainly a wonderful advert for digital projection.
Looking at the two pictures re-posted on Jan 5th, it’s not obvious from the front that the auditorium was actually quite a distance from the road/entrance, and was reached via a lengthy corridor. This entered the cinema at the base of the raked seats.
When I worked there for a short while, as a projection assistant, I seem to remember being told the throw was around 100 feet. The screen was quite narrow, and was not widened when ‘scope came along – presumably to be able to leave the two marble pillars that flanked it intact. This meant that, rather than the VERTICAL masking moving in and out to change to 'scope, the HORIZONTAL masking moved up and down instead. Another bi-product of this, was that a longer focal length standard lens was required when the anamorph was swung in front than was used for 'flat’ ratio films. The ads and trailers were always ‘flat’, so were assembled on a reel by themselves. As soon as the ‘scope feature started, the lenses and gates would be swapped over, ready for the first changeover. During the last reel, the lenses and gate had to be swapped again, ready for the next – continuous in those days – showing. The carbon rods also had to be checked, and changed every couple of reels per projector, so MAJOR problems ensued if the first or last reel of the feature was a bit short. For obvious reasons, focus could be a bit 'iffy’ at the first changeover after the lenses had been changed, but a bit of judicious marking of the lens mount, and a lot of practise, kept this to a minimum.
This strikes me as to what cinema should be all about.
Somebody has commented on Flickr – ref the above link – that they saw ‘Star Wars’ in this cinema, which surely wasn’t released until 1977, or even 1978 by the time it got out of London/Birmingham/Manchester?
Sorry, just read the comment above, as I should have done previously, so ignore my recent posting.
Is this now a J.D.Witherspoon establishment by any chance?
These ‘swallow-ups’ by department stores/council offices etc aren’t a new thing then?
And here’s a version of it you might be able to see without a magnifying glass!
Here is a 1990’s view of the foyer
It was the best quality periscope projection I’ve ever seen, as it happens, but the nature of the conversion enabled everything to be pretty ‘square-on’, so the geometry was correct right from the start. Also, unlike a lot of periscope projected screens, the distance between the two mirrors was not great, since ABC1 was the former circle, rather than the former stalls. As an aside, Studios 1 & 2 in Guildford – now demolished – used the original projection area, and both had periscopes, even though you could see screen 2 from the box. The bottom mirror of Studio 1’s periscope was immense, with the resultant loss of quality.
Looking at the photo, the place doesn’t look big enough to have housed a 45' deep stage and 600 seats.
I was in Shanklin in 1990 by which time the building was definitely not boarded up. I was able to look through the front doors, but got the shock of my life when I realised the foyer floor had been removed to reveal nothing but a deep void, which was quite scary!
Is all that stuff REALLY still inside? The projection box looks as though it was last used yesterday!
Contrary to an earlier posting, I believe the entire second run of Star wars was presented in D150 – it was Close Encounters that had to be shown in ‘standard’ 70mm, though there was NOTHING very standard about the sight of the mother ship when it came over the top of the mountain for the first time….. the whole audience gasped!
Having looked at it again, I think the gaping hole, between the two areas of blue at the bottom of the pic, could well be where the bottom mirror of the periscope was mounted. The screen was still pretty large for a tripled theatre.
If you look at the last of these pics, you can JUST make out the original portholes behind the top of the blue cladding. When the former circle became ABC 1, the screen was raised to ‘circle level’ and a periscope projection system erected to raise the picture, which would otherwise have clipped the roof.