Comments from Bill_Gibbs

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Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Plaza Cinerama Theatre on Dec 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm

One of the best Cinerama theatres that I ever visited. I think the problem was its location!

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Drake Odeon on Dec 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm

One of the last truly magnificent cinemas to have been constructed in the UK!

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Odeon Plymouth on Dec 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm

The 1962 conversion was done at the same time as the Odeon Haymarket (London). Many items, such as seating used identical design and fabrics. The projection rooms and equipment were also similar. One of the last Victoria 10 installations

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about ABC Kensal Rise on Dec 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm

The map at the top of the entry is incorrect. The cinema stood at the junction of Chamberlayne Rd and Kilburn Lane. The Google maps street view is correct (a picture of the houses that now replace the cinema)!

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Classic Kilburn on May 25, 2013 at 11:52 am

I worked there as a relief projectionist in the 1960s I remember the Kalee 11 projectors and very ancient arclamps (I can’t remember the make). At the time I was a part time projecionist at the (old) classic Chelsea. I was still at school and was not allowed to enter the auditorium if an “X” certificate film was playing!

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Prince Edward Theatre on May 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

The Cinerama screen didn’t look “at home” in this theatre! It somehow looked wider than the proscenium!

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about ABC Walham Green on May 25, 2013 at 10:37 am

The site or the main frontage is now Waitrose’s The pharmacy is on the corner where the fire exits were. I always remember a letter that was kept in the projection Rooms, complaining about modern western’s and refering to last weeks film, where the sequence of events for the cowboy were, Riding arround on his horse, getting buried, riding arround on his horse again and finally getting killed. Only those of us who ran film on 2000ft reels will understand!

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about ABC Putney on May 23, 2013 at 8:10 am

I was told that the ABC (Regal) was built using the same set of drawings as the Regal Plymouth, in the rush to get the theatres open and that only the canopy had to be revised due to adjacent buildings. I don’t know which theatre came first! I agree with all the negative comments regarding the replacement building!

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Vue Fulham Broadway on May 23, 2013 at 7:59 am

Why are there no pages allocated to the Regal and Red Hall?

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Grand Theatre on May 23, 2013 at 7:56 am

I remember seeing the half demolished building just after I moved to Fulham in 1957 (I was about 10 years old)

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Odeon Plymouth on May 23, 2013 at 7:31 am

I have realised that my comment (above) must be refering to the Gaumont, that was re-named when this building was demolished and stood on the site of the original Andrews' picture house. Why is there no page allocated to the Gaumont building? Does it still exist? I have not been back to Plymouth since my visit in the 60s.

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Odeon Plymouth on May 23, 2013 at 12:44 am

I visited the cinema in the late 60s. It had been divided in half to include a bingo hall. The design and film equipment (including 70mm) was a close copy of the Odeon Haymarket in London that was converted at roughly the same time. It was one of the few Odeon’s to be equiped with Victoria 10 projectors and Duosonic sound.

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about Plaza Cinema on May 23, 2013 at 12:33 am

I visited the Plaza in the mid 60s and it was the only time that I have ever seen Ross FC projectors They had no framing mechanism and if the film went a perforation out the entire gate and lens was moved up or down

Bill_Gibbs
Bill_Gibbs commented about ABC Kensal Rise on Apr 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

The photograph is of the premier (local) of 2001. The mayor and several local dignitaries attended and the event was covered by the Kilburn times. (Hence the photograph) The event won first prize in the ABC publicity competition, the manager (Wally Jones) won a new Ford Capri and was promoted to the new ABC that had opened in Falmouth. I was the projectionist at the time.

Your explanation of the cinemas evolution is almost “spot on” The foyer of the new ABC was the auditorium of the old cinema and still had projection portholes from what was now the manager’s office. The stained glass window (halfway up the circle staircase) was the loudspeaker gallery of the original that had its 1.37:1 screen laced directly onto the front wall. The entrance lobby was in turn the foyer of the old building. The entire original was “terraced into Chamberlain Rd and closely resembled the Gate (Notting Hill) The "new” cinema was built on spare land at the rear of the main road. Your one error was the original seating capacity which was around 300 and increased to 1600 when the new building opened.

I have the original opening brochure that gives details of everything including the cinema orchestra. Like most cinemas the stage was lost at the introduction of cinemascope. At the time of its closure it was one of only a few cinemas to still be running film on 2000ft reels. I also believe it was the only ABC to be heated by coke boilers. Although oil fired heating was installed on the reconstruction, it was removed at the outbreak of the Second World War.