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The ceiling over the  luxurious  seating  is  not as  high  as   The ceiljng contains some 4,000 coloured bulbs, access to
             that of the lower foyer and has a more closed in feel  to  it.   which is through the ceiling, a challenge even today, when
                                                              it comes to changing them.  The. ceiljng changed colour
             Entry to the auditorium was via stairs to the crossover be-  frequently and brought about different aspects of the ceil-
             tween lounge and dress circle.                   ings  texture.  The plasterwork,  with  its  various  mould-
                                                              ings, was highlighted by red, green, blue and clear lights
                                                              which when rotated through  the various colours resulted
                                                              in a  fascinating array of light and  shadow effects on  the
                                                              plasterwork. The lighting effects were manually operated
                                                              by an electrician behind the stage. Today a computer per-
                                                              forms  this task.

                                                              The projection  box,  unlike  most theatres,  which  was an
                                                              appendage of the dress circle, was set in  the ceiling at the
                                                              rear of the auditorium.  It blended in well.  It had technical
                                                              problems, due to the 20 degree rake of the projectors that
                                                              produced a 'keystone' effect whereby the top of the image
            It is at the point of entry that the magnificence of the audi-
                                                              was smaller than the bottom.  Modifications at the projec-
             torium  hits  the patron.  The ceiling is overwhelming at
                                                              tion and screen end, hid  these difficulties fi·om  the patron
            first sight and as one reaches this landing before proceed-
                                                              who was, rightly so, there to be entertained.
             ing  to  their seat,  the complimentary continuation  of the
             ceiling to the more open, columned sides makes the expe-
             rience even more pleasurable.  The proscenium continues   As  mentioned  earlier,  the first program was Cecil  B.  De
             with  the  theme,  accessorised  by  velvet drapes  with  dis-  Mille's epic 'The Ten Commandments'.  A silent classic,
             tinctive decoration.  The organ, or band, depending on  the   still  talked about today. It was a fitting film  to commence
            session would be there to entertain prior to the film  com-  the  life  of The Capitol'  which  was  dubbed  'the theatre
             mencing.  Such entertainment would eventually  fade out   beautiful', a tag it carried into its advertising.  An orches-
             as a means of cutting costs!                     tra, or the WurliTzer, provided accompaniment for the film.
                                                              Despite myths,  which  have  today's  generation  believing
                                                              that silent films were just that, silent,  this was rarely the
                                                              case,  even in  the  smallest of theatres  or halls  had some
                                                              form of musical backing.

                                                              A week after opening, Paramount's Auditorium was to be
                                                              closed and the weekly Paramount releases were to be trans-
                                                              fen·ed  to  Hoyt's De Luxe (Bourke Street).  The Audito-
                                                              rium was expected to close permanently but after two weeks
                                                              it reopened under the direction of Electric Theatres (J.C.
                                                              Williamson  and  Union  Theatres)  as  an  extended season
                                                              house  for  that chain,  replacing this  policy originally  be-
                                                              gan at the Strand Theatre in Bourke Street in  1922.  One
                                                              of the crowning releases at the Auditorium was the Aus-
                                                              tralian  classic  'For the Tetm  of his  Natural  life'  (1927)
                                                              which was Australia's fu·st  intemational hit.

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