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Palace Cinemas have announced that they will not renew their lease on the cinemas. Final screenings under the Palace banner are due to take place on October 27th, 2010. There is some optimism that a new lessee will take over the cinemas in the near future. An article to this effect appeared in the Melbourne Age on Friday 1st October 2010.
The last pair of Carbon Arc lamps in the city area (Cinemeccanica Super Zenith 450) went out of use when the cinema closed in 1983. A Dolby CP 50 stereo processor and stereo pick-ups in the projectors were permanently installed for season of “Psycho 2”. The chief projectionist insisted on a high standard of installation. Prior to this the original National 4 channel valve sound system was in use. Magnetic sound replay had its last run with “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”, which sounded very good in the theatre.
Projectors are (2) Cummings and Wilson Model G mechanisims on Westrex 2003-B sound heads and Centrex Bases. Lamphouses are Zeiss Xenosol III.
The Rivoli was opened with a Hammond Model BC electric organ. The console was installed at stage level on the left hand side of the proscenium, and was manually rotated into view in front of the House curtain. The instrument remained until the cinema was closed for twinning. Any information about the organ, its organists, or other similar installations would be most welcome. Does anybody have photos of the original auditorium?
There was also a second projection room, located at the back of the dress circle of the three-tier theatre structure. It survived as a plant room until the demolition of the building. The projection ports were still in place, and looked out into the void under the balcony seating. The third and final projection room was at the back of the circle in the two-tier (1936) structure. As the building was demolished, wall murals depicting shipping scenes were revealed on the outer walls of the auditorium, apparently dating from the pre 1936 structure. The office areas at the front of the building housed “Australasian Films” theatre supplies and “16 Millimetre” 16mm film distributors, among other organisations.
Regarding the site location – the Village complex was built on the site of the Waltons department store in Bourke street. The Haymarket Theatre was on the opposite side of the street and a block further east, on a site later occupied by the Eastern Arcade, which was recently demolished.
Screens 1 and (3?) at the Village complex were also 70mm equipped.