Page 9 - CinemaRecord #11R.pdf
P. 9

As many of the organ components are of massive size, they would not fit through the access doors in the floor
            of the chambers, so these door openings were concreted over. Scaffolding was built up in front of the chambers
            with  an electric chain  hoist on  a beam,  and all the heavy components,  some weighing 300Kg,  and  all  the
            pipework, were brought in through the front of the chambers, which were later sealed up with a plaster wall.

                                         Solo/Brass Organ Chamber Components

            The organ installation is almost complete, with the pipework (over 2500 pipes) in place, including the largest,
            the 32' Diaphone pipes, the low C weighing in at almost half a tonne. The blowers are right at the top of the fly
            tower, although not yet connected electrically or to the huge organ wind ducting. The master Harp and chimes
            units are in the RHS "ashtray" (Royal Box) with the piano ready to be placed in the LHS "ashtray".

            The console is still at the factory in Mentone, awaiting the organ lift to be completed, and building operations
            around the pit area to be completed to avoid any risk of damage.

            Once the blowers are running, the 23 pressure regulators and 16 tremulants in the organ can be set up, and the
            organ action checked, console installed, and  tuning of the instrument can  begin. This will  take some 4 to 6
            weeks to complete, before the organ is ready for a public performance. It will take about another 18 months for
            the huge organ to settle down, with all the little adjustments made and bugs ironed out.

            It has been a  fascinating  time installing the organ.  Over the  last two years  I have witnessed  the  rebirth  of
            Melbourne's greatest theatre from the vandalised fabric of what was the flagship of the Hoyts Theatres chain in

            The Regent, was built in  1928 and was an almost exact copy of the New York Capitol, except that the Capitol
            had around 5000 seats, while the Regent had around 3300. When the theatre was rebuilt after the 1945 fire it
            was rebuilt as original, except the procenium was squared off, instead of the former gracefully curved procenium.
            This restoration has faithfully restored the 194 7 Regent interior, with some very major alterations to the build-
            ing itself, especially backstage. The very rear of the back stalls has been cut off by a wall, and this area adds
            to the already large foyer areas, and includes a bar. This area has been added in a manner that no one could
            detect was not original. The new plaster work and painting is absolutely superb, and the loss of this part of the
            back stalls should not upset anyone.  It was always a long  way back under the circle,  especially for the live
            theatre use to which the theatre will now be put.

            The back stage area is where the most dramatic work has taken place, and in place of the former two floors
            beneath stage, there are now three. The fly tower has been raised some 20 metres to house the plant and
            machinery, mainly associated with air handllng and air conditioning. The fly grid has also been raised.
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