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Fire shutters were still mandatory  knock at the door preceded a rather  Film Victoria created Cinemedia.
          for projection and observation ports.  portly gentleman, who asked if he  Like many other government-
          Large single shutters to cover both ports  could have a look at the equipment.  funded departments at this time, the
          were installed. They were so heavy that  He chatted about his Bell & Howell  theatre was required to pay its way.  It
          they had to be pinned into place. Had  16mm machine at home and how he  was renamed Treasury Theatre,
          they dropped as required in the event of  often ran films for his grandchildren.  refurbished, and re-equipped, although
          a fire and an unwary projectionist had  During the course of our conversation  the magnificent Bauer B14s would have
          an arm or hand in the way, they would  he said “By the way, I’m (Sir) Edgar  run forever.  ★
          have acted as a guillotine.       Coles”. Giving my name in response
            A compact, six cell, high frequency  sounded rather flat.           Staff With Vision
          exponential horn and 12-inch (30cm)  Before the rebirth of Australian    CATHS member Edwin
          bass (woofer) speaker were mounted  feature film production, the SFC theatre  Schefferle (Scheff) was the driving
          above the screen. Audio 'dead spots' in  premiered the work of many up-and-  force behind acquisition of the SFC
          the auditorium meant that they were  coming directors and producers. Films  collection of over 20,00 titles. He
          never really satisfactory.  These  such as The Naked Bunyip, Stork and A  was also a major player in the
          problems were corrected years later.  City’s Child were all shot on 16mm.
                                                                                establishment of the Melbourne
            The theatre was used rather     From these early beginnings and
                                                                                Film Festival.
          sparingly at first, mainly for State  following their passion, many of these
                                                                                   Rodney Power, who passed away
          Government seminars and SFC       ‘second-wave’ pioneers went on to
                                                                                in October 2006, aged 94, had been
          screenings. There were special jobs,  great things - Peter Weir, Fred Schepsi,
                                                                                at the SFC from its inception in
          such as of running confiscated film for  Paul Cox, Joan Long, Phillip Adams,
                                                                                1948 until 1973. An active member
          the police Vice Squad and for the  Tim Burstall - enriching us all by their
                                                                                of the Australian Cinematographers
          censor. I can remember running a film  efforts. The 1970 Australian Film
                                                                                Society, Rodney mentored many
          for the censor that was to be screened  Awards were presented at the theatre, a
                                                                                young aspiring film-makers.
          at the Melbourne Film Festival. I could  far cry from the lavish awards
          not believe my ears on hearing for the  presentations of today.
          first time the ‘F’ word uttered in a film.  After a happy five years at the SFC,
          How times have changed!           it was time for me to move on. Time
            When Anna Neagle came to appear  and technology brought many changes.
          at the Princess, a special screening of  The Education Department Film
          Fifty Glorious Years was held in her  Library was absorbed into the Film
          honour. It was said at the time that this  Centre Collection. The distribution of
          1938 film never made it to Melbourne  films from the National Library also
          because of the war.               became an SFC responsibility.
            After a screening to promote the   Funding cuts in the 1991 State
          Keep Australia Beautiful Council, the  Budget, all but disbanded the SFC.
          reception for guests and dignitaries was  Only intense lobbying by Education
          taking place in the foyer while I was  personnel saved the film and video loan  Long-time film booker Ms. Jean Ousley in
          tidying up the projection room. A  service. A later amalgamation with  2003.

          CHANGES IN THE


                  By Greg Symons
            This 1984 photo of me in the SFC
          projection room is interesting for its
          background detail.
            It shows the Bauer Selecton 16mm
          projector and one of the two Bauer
          B14s with a fully enclosed spool boxes
          for 2000-foot spools. We replaced these
          spool boxes with 6000-foot arms. Then
          came, not a platter system because
          there simply wasn’t room, but a thing  As I remember, we never ran double  I believe that the SFC at this time
          called a ‘MUT’ - Make Up Table.   features. The cinema was more of an  was the only cinema with cinema
            Actually it was a ‘double MUT’ that  art-house and ran one-offs.   screen video projection. The place
          could handle up to 24,000 foot spools -  At the left is some of the Video  could also show Super 8mm, with the
          a double feature, and could also rewind  Playback gear, with a hand built video  projector set on top of the video cabinet
          the film.                         switcher.                          at the left of the picture.  ★

          10  2007 CINEMARECORD
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