Page 6 - CinemaRecord Edition 3-2002 #37
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NEWSREEL                    •
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             CINEMA, THEATRE &          •
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          The Capitol Ceiling Reborn?
            The extravagant rainbow of
          changing colours in the ceiling of the
          original Capitol Theatre was created
          by six rows of dimmers operated by
          the house electrician from the stage.
          The building at that time was on direct
          current. One of the changes made
          before the 1965 re-opening was to
          rewire the building. This meant a
          simplification of the visual impact –
          the ceiling in all one colour changing
          to the next colour.
            Restoration of the original lighting
          sequence with a computer controlled
          optic fibre system has been costed at
          $200,000. Instead of burning up to
          100,000 watts of electricity, this will  The Capitol auditorium as everyone would like to see it again. The Wurlitzer is
          be reduced to about 10,000 watts.  left of stage on its own lift. The candelabras are in storage at the National
          Along with this saving in energy, fibre  Gallery of Victoria.
          optic lamps have triple the life of
          incandescent globes.
            A refurbishment of the circle foyer
          is also planned. This area has found a
          new use as a function venue and
          meeting space in association with
          movie premieres. The original house
          curtain is also being restored.  As
          RMIT University cannot use education
          funds for these purposes, it is hoped
          that the revenue from corporate hiring
          of the theatre and foyers will expedite
          the work.
            Ian Williams.
          Capitol Theatre Organ on CD
            The final Wurlitzer Organ concert at
          the Capitol Theatre Melbourne has
          been released on Compact Disc. The
          concert was recorded 17 November
          1963 and features an introduction,
          followed by 16 tracks played by The  The Memorial Hall St. Kilda
          Capitol’s master organist Horace Weber.   The Soldiers and Sailors Club at 88  In the fifties the theatre advertised
                                            Acland Street St. Kilda has been a  in the Hoyts column. The major films
            The CD costs $30 a copy. Five
                                            local land-mark since 1924.         were allocated to the Victory (now the
          dollars from each sale will go towards                                National) with 2400 seats and the
          the ongoing refurbishment of the     Tucked away at the back of the   Palais Pictures, 2900 seats. The
          theatre. To order a copy, contact Mr.  building is the almost forgotten ‘no  Memorial at 750 seats screened a
          Craig Cahill, Manager of the Capitol  frills’ Memorial Hall, locked and  double ‘B’ grade program each week,
          Theatre, on 9650 4017.            empty for decades. Opened as an all-
                                            purpose venue, film shows began in  existing on a steady diet of minor
            Cameron Hall.
                                            1927 as the Memorial Theatre.       westerns and thrillers.
                                            Equipped for talkies in 1931 by the    Despite the basic amenities, former
                                            new lessees Palais Pictures Pty Ltd.  St Kilda residents such as John
                                            and Victory Picture Theatre Pty Ltd.  Michael Howson have fond memories
                                            it operated as a cinema until the arrival  of the ‘Memo’.
                                            of television.

          6   2002 CINEMARECORD
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