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The SFC moved into their new
          offices in 1969. It was some months
          before the theatre became operational.
          A stunning red carpet was laid. After
          heavy rain one night, water seeped into
          the theatre as a consequence of
          incomplete sealing of the Macarthur
          Street terrace. In the morning the front
          of stage area was under a foot of water.
          The carpet was ruined. All of it had to
          be replaced.
            The decor of the theatre was stylish
          1970s. Fine cut and faced granite blocks
          formed the curved interior walls, with
          vertical timber panels across the bio-
          box. A ceiling of white vermiculite with
          acoustic ridging supported flush fitting
          down lights. Public address ceiling
          loudspeakers were fitted throughout the
          auditorium and the L-shaped foyer. The
          black leather seats, letterbox red carpet
          and a white, coarse weave fabric for the
          screen tabs looked stunning.
            The well-equipped projection room
          contained the Bauer B14, 35mm
          projector and two 16 mm projectors - a
          Bauer Selecton 110 and a Kalart /Victor
          Marc 300.
            There was a Silcron turntable for
          discs, a Byer/Rola quarter inch reel-to-
          reel tape deck, AWA valve P.A
          amplifier with standby and locally
          made ‘Australian Sound’, solid state
          monaural amplifiers. An ‘Australian
          Sound’ microphone and speaker mixing
          panel was incorporated with the public
          address system, which was often
          problematic in operation.
            The projector pre-amplifiers were
                                                   Top: Three Bauer
          designed and made by Pyrox engineer,
                                             projectors. The closest is
          Roy King (no relation). I assisted Roy
                                             the 16mm Selecton 110.
          with the installation of the plant.
                                              Centre: From the other
            Two, three-phase Xenon lamp
                                             side of the room, the pair
          rectifiers supplied power for the three
                                               of 35mm Bauer B14s.
          projectors. This was achieved by
                                               The pedestal leg of the
          switching the 16mm projector between
                                             16mm Kalart Victor Marc
          the two rectifiers. A specially designed,
                                                      300 is far left.
          heavy-duty switch was ordered from
          England for this purpose. After many  Right: Program for the
          delays and excuses I made up an old-   1970 Australian Film
          fashioned knife switch from scrap               Awards.
          parts. This ‘temporary’ switch remained
          in use for years.
            A major fault in the bio room layout
          was the position of the lighting dimmer
          and curtain masking controls. Set on
          the rear wall, the projectionist had to be
          a contortionist to operate them
          effectively. The light dimmer was a
          motor driven variac, installed at the
          main electrical switchboard and
          operated remotely from the bio-room.

                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2007     9
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