Page 8 - RD_2015_12
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Top: The restored interior of the cinema
                                                                               Above: The exterior mimics an LNER
                                                                               passenger coach. Images: Lance Adlam.

            The possibilities for a cinema in a  carriage suggested simple bench  A secondary screen position has
          railway carriage are obvious: board up  seating. The carriage retained a toilet in  been wired approximately two-thirds of
          the windows, convert an end       the end compartment.               the way back up the ramp of the coach,
          compartment into a projection room,  When operated by the British    should there be too many tall people in
          place the screen at the other end of the  Transport Film Unit from 1949 the  front! A ‘minicom’ loop has been
          carriage, re-arrange the seats and the  coach was coupled to a generator unit  installed to assist hearing-impaired
          interior becomes a mini-cinema, narrow  housed in a former brake van.  visitors, and provision has been made
          to be sure, but not so different in  The restoration committee wanted  for supplementary speakers to be fitted
          proportions to some of the early picture  the coach to be restored to externally  into the ceiling to boost sound quality.
          theatres on solid foundations.    look like an original LNWR Sleeping   A pull-down screen will allow for
            Here are some stories about trains  Saloon car, while retaining the interior  the projection of slides, overhead
          and their role as proxy cinemas.  as a cinema coach. The two periods to  projection or ‘Powerpoint’
            Buckinghamshire Railway Centre  be represented were somewhat       presentations, or they can be shown on
          (UK) has a restored cinema carriage at  incompatible after the alterations in  the plasma screen.
          their Rewley Road station platform.  1936, so a number of re-design     An adjustable spotlight will
          This carriage is in the third phase of a  compromises had to be made.        highlight a lectern when the rest of the
          long life. Originally a 1907-built   The compartment side has been   lights are turned off.
          LNWR passenger coach, it was      reconstructed as originally built. The  The coach has been fitted out with
          converted into a mobile cinema in  corridor side has had the doors that  27 padded lecture-style tip-up seats and
          1936, and used in that capacity for  were cut into the side removed, and  desks, carpeted floor, and indirect
          more than ten years. The content of the  they have been re-sited so that they  lighting.
          film programs were educational and  have a minimal impact on the        The window patterns have been
          instructional films, presumably for both  appearance.                restored on the outside of the coach.
          railway staff and the public.        The cinema area now has a level  Many of them are ‘dummy’ windows,
            The carriage was in a bad way   section at the front to allow for  painted to suggest that the internal
          before restoration, but the early changes  wheelchair access. The projection room  blinds been lowered. The coach has
          to make it a cinema were obvious. The  has been refurbished to allow the  been repainted in LNWR colours and
          cinema carriage had been given a  projection of films in the original  will be used primarily for educational
          ramped floor with its highest point in  manner. A plasma or LCD flat screen  purposes and commercial lettings.
          the projection room. Seven rows of  linked to a computer to play DVDs is to
          heater elements across the width of the  be installed.

          8   2005 CINEMARECORD
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