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Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments commented about Odeon Birmingham on Jun 28, 2015 at 6:08 pm

I apologize for taking up so many comments, but I get quite nostalgic for those old times and places. commented about Gene on Jun 28, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Thanks for correction; I always imagined that it was American. In fact I visited their showroom in London decades ago and saw their 16mm Ampro and other machines. Perhaps the sound head was American. commented about Odeon Birmingham on Jun 25, 2015 at 8:21 pm

I’d like to show a snap of Mother and myself in 1938 but it was deleted.The point was that it showed the OTC uniform worn by me for the early December 1939 stage tableau at the Paramount mentioned in an earlier comment, and it was taken by my father, Arthur Raymond. commented about Gene on Jun 25, 2015 at 8:15 pm

I accidentally deleted a former comment; from upper left: projectionist and equipment taken by Box Brownie camera about November 1944 for “The Great Mr Handel”: first UK feature in colour. (Available on DVD) About 1 minute exposure @ f11 (the biggest available then). Upper Right Gene Autry with Sid Lewis 15 August 1939:Box camera 1/25 @ f11. Lower Right: Leslie Gregory on right with unnamed staffer, taken by Arthur Raymond. Lower Left Usherettes with front doorman, taken by Arthur Raymond on his German Wirgin camera. commented about staff parade 1938 on Jun 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm

In the large group photo with Holderness, I feel sure that Chris Cassidy, the Assistant Manager, is at the extreme right, looking forward, behind the usherettes' second row. I must correct an error. Gene Autry is shaking hands with Sid Lewis (from my diary) and not Mr Smith.

If anyone wishes to see the army uniform worn by me as a temporary employee on the stage in a Christmas ‘39 tableau, I can still post it. Note the puttees: obsolete these days. SA commented about Futurist Cinema on Jun 15, 2015 at 8:59 pm

I begin the recognize it now. My mother and I had a complimentary one October Sunday evening in 1939 to see “Show Boat” with Alan Jones,Paul Robeson and Irene Dunne. Much better than the remake with Howard Keel and Ava Gardner. I recall the Manager’s name: Revvis. As Arthur Raymond’s family we were allowed in most Birmingham cinemas, ideally on slack nights: Thursdays and Sundays.

Regards. S.A. There was a different attitude then. commented about staff parade 1938 on Jun 13, 2015 at 5:48 pm

P.S. Jackson, the projectionist in the early days, personally told me that sound quality was so good that it reached a 12000 Hertz frequency, compared with the shellac record which hit only 8000 Hz (or cps)The projection room was a mass of gear, amplifier racks, slide lanterns and much more. SA commented about staff parade 1938 on Jun 13, 2015 at 5:43 pm

They used flammable nitrate film with two projectors which would each take only 2000 feet of film at ninety feet per minute, guarded by heavy steel spool boxes. The projectionist had to wait at the end of each spool for a spot in the upper right hand corner of the screen, start the second projector and at the second spot switch off the first, and switch on the second projector simultaneously.The discarded film spool then was taken to a side room and manually rewound. you can sometimes see the indicator spots in some 35mm film that has been converted to DVD or VHS. Now I gather that film is acetate and non flammable so that you can project the whole movie with one spool. Regards, SA. commented about Gene on Jun 9, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Probably of low interest but those are “Peerless” projectors made by J. Frank Brockliss, an American company, probably under licence in the UK. commented about RAYMOND AT ORGAN MAY 1938 on Jun 8, 2015 at 5:32 pm

P.S.The shots of the usherettes was taken by Arthur Raymond, organist @ probably 1/25 sec on regular film f11,1 min, f11 on my Brownie Box camera, regular film by me, Gene Autry 1/25, regular film (Agfa?) @ f11; the others by my father probably on his German Wirgin camera @f11 @ 1/25. (That was an exposure in those days) SA commented about Odeon Birmingham on Jun 8, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Hooray! Managed to transmit photos: Clockwise: upper left:projection room in November 1942 showing “The Great Mr Handel” (first British colour feature),Gene Autry with Sid Lewis of Loughborough Cinema group, August 17, ‘39. A Commissionaire with a bevy of Usherettes, and finally Charlie Gregory, the stage manager. He is on the right of the two images. He used to go to the wings of the stage a turn a wheel which brought up all sorts of coloured lights at the beginning, or dim them at the end of the picture. It was real showmanship in those days. commented about RAYMOND AT ORGAN MAY 1938 on Oct 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I remember when this shot was taken.I was on holiday at the time.

Regards SA commented about Odeon Birmingham on Oct 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm

They have grown since the 40’s when they took only 2000 feet per reel' in those days it was flammable but more flexible.

SA commented about staff parade 1938 on Oct 22, 2014 at 11:35 pm

BTW we always went in by the stage door,located at the end of a paved slope bordered by Littlewood’s commented about staff parade 1938 on Oct 22, 2014 at 11:32 pm

I’m trying to find Chris Cassidy, the Assistant Manager.He was about 23, and looked like a cross between Tyrone Power and Louis Hayward. always wore a dress suit and stiff shirt. His brother Sean and he drove us up from London one Yuletide and his mother stayed with us in Soho.(In a Morris 16, a nice quiet saloon car) Those were the days; all gone! commented about Paramount Cinema on Oct 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm

I think that is Arthur Raymond,organist,standing to the rear and between Leslie Holderness and the usherette whom he appears to be mentoring.

SA commented about Odeon Birmingham on Oct 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Thanks. Another anecdote: An Associate of the Royal College of Organists criticized Raymond’s playing to Leslie Holderness. My father entertained the visitor to tea in the theatre cafe.Must ave been 1941 or so. Nevertheless he did not replace him. In ‘38 the BBC wanted to wire the Paramount for organ broadcasts. However, like the artist he was, Arthur declined the offer until remuneration was offered. It wasn’t; so the broadcasts never aired.

SA commented about staff parade 1938 on Oct 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Sorry, it was 1938. I’m sure it’s Raymond. commented about Odeon Birmingham on Oct 20, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Looks like Arthur Raymond (real name Cecil Austin)in the photo not shown here of Manager Holderness and the whole staff(about 1943-4) sitting on one side right in the front among the usherettes. He was only five feet tall.

SA. commented about Cinescene on Jul 29, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Yes! I recognize it from the 1933 b/w photo.I saw the “Desert Song ” (1929) there, “Mr.Midshipman Easy”, probably “When knights were bold” w. Jack Buchanan, and a film with Diana Churchill in it. Can’t recall the title. Nice, cosy, little cinema.

SA commented about Classic Brighton on Jul 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Now I think of it,there was a labour exchange on the corner next to the cinema.I remember the line of men described as “being on the dole”, a sad picture in the mid-thirties, commented about Classic Brighton on Jul 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm

I saw a few films there; I remember it being called “The Scala” although when I saw “That’s a good girl” with J. Buchanan and Elsie Randolph it must have been “Regal” Nice little cinema. Saw “Blonde Bombshell” there.On the corner of Western and Montpelier Roads. I passed it every day on the bus to Brighton Grammar School commented about Regent Cinema on Jul 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Thank you for info about George Formby. It seems that there was one scene where he had to circle on a motorbike a large vertical cylinder and emerge at the top like someone being shot from a cannon.

S.A. commented about Regent Cinema on Jun 29, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Oh, and the unforgettable Jean Harlow in “Blonde Bombshell” and “Dinner at eight”

So Long,

        commented about Regent Cinema on Jun 29, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Other films and actors that I saw: Ruggles of Red Gap Cavalcade The Crusades Thirty-nine steps Roberta The General died at dawn Will Hay Tom Walls & Ralph Lynn Sons of the Desert (Laurel & Hardy) Annabella & Henry Fonda Robert Donat (Blue Danube?) Lloyds of London (Tyrone Power) George Formby (film about motorcycling, another about employee breaking a record in a gramophone disc works) Arthur Tracy, the “Street Singer” Evergreen—-Jessie Matthews The Good Companions—Jessie Matthews

and so on.