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William H. Perkins, a prominent
                                                                               Tasmanian film lecturer and director,
                                                                               recommended Adrian Jacobson to the
                                                                               AFI Board. Adrian had a strong
                                                                               connection to the cinema, growing up
                                                                               around it when his father Ollie worked
                                                                               there as a projectionist. Adrian was
                                                                               now a teacher, but when he was
                                                                               approved by the AFI Board, he was
                                                                               more than happy to return to his initial
                                                                               passion of film. He would remain as
                                                                               manager for twenty-four more years.
                                                                                  The reputation the State Cinema
                                                                               today - a place of quality entertainment
                                                                               - was developed during Adrian’s time. A
                                                                               year after he took on the manager role,
                                                                               he was quoted as saying, “I see it [the
                                                                               State] as a cinema service rather than a
                                                                               commercial business”. By providing
                                                                               an alternative, the cinema often stood on
                                                                               shaky ground. Nevertheless, with
                                                                               government grants and AFI funding,
                                                                               Adrian kept the cinema from being
                                                                               consumed by Hollywood.
                                                                                  By 1984 the AFI was in financial
                                                                               difficulties. Operating three cinemas
                                                                               nationwide had put them ‘in the red’.
                                                                               One solution considered was to sell the
                                                                               State. As soon as the public heard of
                                                                               this, there was uproar. The Save the
                                                                               State Committee was formed and dozens
                                                                               of letters were mailed out asking for
                                                                               pressure to be placed on the Australian
                                                                               Film Commission and the AFI to help
                                                                               secure the cinema’s future.
                                                                                  In August, newly appointed AFI
                                                                               chairman Frank Maloney flew to
                                                                               Hobart to justify the planned sale. He
                                                                               addressed a hostile crowd of four
                                                                               thousand people. Cramming the cinema
                                                                               wall to wall, they jeered. Those who
                                                                               could not fit inside protested from the
                                                                               park next door, braving the sleet and
                                                                               rain and listening to Maloney’s speech
                                                                               on a loud speaker. This overwhelming
                                                                               support proved to the AFI that
                                                                               alternative and independent films were
                                                                               still valued by the people of Tasmania.
                                                                               The decision to sell was overturned:
                                                                               Adrian and the patrons of the cinema
                                                                               could claim a victory for art-house film.
                                                                                  In 1997 profits from the success of
                                                                               the Australian film Shine paid for major
                                                                               renovation at the State. Starting in
                                                                               November, the floor was tiered,
                                                                               improvements to keep out extraneous
                                                                               light and sound were made, the seats
                                                                               were re-upholstered and seating
          From the top: the State in its current livery; the two projectors beneath the linked
                                                                               capacity increased. This facelift
          exhaust ducts are 35mm Centrex. On either side of them are 16mm Bauer machines.
                                                                               complemented the Dolby Surround
          The small lamp-house (right) is a slide projector assembled by the late Ollie Jacobson;
                                                                               Sound System, which had been installed
          view from the stage.                                                                  8
                                                                               a few months before. The business was
                                                                               now ready for the new millennium.
          8   2007 CINEMARECORD
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