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Caths Visits Village Twin Cinemas, Doncaster Shoppingtown

                                                      By Brian Miller

            When twin cinemas were      Special seats which fit over
          the vogue in Melbourne in the  the standard seat to elevate
          1970s and 1980s, new screens  tiny tots for a better view of
          opened at Frankston, North  the screen were an innovation.
          Brighton, Middle Brighton,    An interesting comment on
          Knox City, Boronia,        changing notions of public
          Reservoir, Greensborough and  safety is that the exterior
          Waverley Gardens, amongst  illuminated program sign had
          others. Twin cinemas were  to be removed from its
          also built in regional centres.    elevated position.
            The Village Doncaster       The cinemas’ current
          Twin complex opened on 10  policy includes screenings for
          December 1981 with the     special interests groups, which
          celebrated Australian film,  include the Chinese
          Gallipoli and two other    community. Films from other
          forgotten epics.           sources have also proved
            Now managed for Village  successful.
          by the experienced Mr. Warren  The projection room at
          Carter, CATHS inspected the  Doncaster houses Bauer U4
          complex on Sunday 28 May   projectors and light sources,
          2006.                      platters and a sound system
            Entry is from the main   offering DTS Digital/ SR and
          Williamson’s Road area. Stairs  Dolby reproduction.
          lead to a rectangular, first  A short film demonstration
          floor foyer in which is set a  included a vintage Australian
          long ticket and refreshments  newsreel and a variety of
          service bar. Brown brick   forthcoming trailers with
          walls, a dark rose ceiling, red  varying sound options and
          carpeting and computer game  screen ratios.
          units complete a well-        Plans to expand Doncaster
          maintained area. Auditorium  Shoppingtown are well
          entries are at the far end of the  advanced. These plans might
          foyer, to the left and right.      include the cinemas, possibly
            Cinema One has 330 red-  a complex with up to 16
          upholstered stadium-style  screens.
          seats which have been         The hardy group who
          upgraded in recent years. Red  braved the early morning chill
          carpets and full stage curtains  received a warm welcome
          are off-set by brown brick  from Mr. Carter, who gave
          walls, a treatment also used in  them the opportunity to ‘take
          the original Frankston Twin,  over’ the theatre.
          the Brighton Bay One, and in
                                        CATHS extends a special
          the former Bendigo and
                                     thank you to Mr. Carter for his
          current Morwell versions.
                                     cooperation, and also thanks
            A Twin often had one     CATHS’ own Phil O'Kane for
          cinema larger than the other,  the film presentation and
          but at Doncaster, Cinema Two  committee member Shane
          also has 330 seats. It is in an  Moore for co-ordinating the
          all-red décor, including fully-  visit. ★
          curtained walls in lieu of
          brown bricks. Solid timber                             From the top: A sleek exterior.
          balustrades, the hand-rails and
                                                                 Manager Warren Carter (left) talks with organiser Shane
          doors throughout are finished
                                                                 Moore and CATHS President Gerry Kennedy.
          in a matching red gloss paint.
                                                                 Stadium seating offers excellent sight lines in Cinema One.
          Ceilings are the standard
          white-panelled suspension                              Looking like a car restraint pod, elevated seats can be
          fittings.                                              placed on the standard seat to give children a better view.
                                                                 The unadorned stage area of Cinema Two.
                                                                 Images by Mel Elliott.
                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2006     5
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