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Projectionist John Koutsoumis alongside
          the Toshiba, Dec. 2007 Photo – Ross King.

            Ross set about to equip the cinema,
          purchasing a pair of 1970s vintage
          Toshiba 35mm projectors from
          Jindabyne, NSW, and eventually
          upgraded the sound system for Dolby
          stereo reproduction. The equipment
          retained the Peerless carbon arc lamps
          that breathed new life into the screening
          of original three-strip Technicolor prints
          presented from time to time.
            A multi-format screen masking
          system was donated and installed by
          Michael Smith of the Sun Theatre   Stardust memories: The Dietrich gaze may be about to meet her own image
          Yarraville. Equipped to screen all
          aspect ratios (and more recently, DVD),
                                               The ‘Rado’ had a unique atmosphere:  Almost to the day, fourteen years
          the donation of a Bauer 16mm Selecton
                                            music, comfort, good sightlines, effects  after opening, the theatre was stripped.
          Xenon arc machine from RMIT
                                            lighting, and a big screen for the room  The sound system and video projection
          completed the comprehensive bio-box
                                            size. Picture and sound quality was  facilities were re-located to the Rado
                                            scrupulously monitored. The foyer and  Room, the banquet room above
            After an intensive six-week building
                                            vestibule featured numerous framed  Mamma Vittoria Restaurant around the
          program, the theatre was ready for
                                            portraits and posters celebrating the art  corner in Smith Street, a move which
          business. Aptly named after the late
                                            and technology of film. Guest speakers  has continued the life of several film
          Erwin Rado - the longest- serving
                                            introduced many screenings. Ross used  societies. The 35mm equipment is now
          director of the Melbourne International
                                            his own print collection to run Starry  stored in Trentham, in the hope that
          Film Festival - the ‘Rado’ opened in
                                            Nights Cinema and Silver Screen    suitable premises can be found to re-
          February 1994.
                                            Sundays.                           establish an all-format facility.
            Seating sixty, it became a much
                                               Ultimately the owner of the building  The Astor and the ‘Rado’ were a
          sought-after venue for regular film
                                            was not prepared to renew the lease to  world apart in ambition and much of
          industry previews, student screenings,
                                            MIFF, one effect of the ongoing    their programming, but the world of
          Film Festival previews, lectures, live
                                            gentrification of Fitzroy. A much  cinema is so broad and deep that the
          theatre, stand-up comedy, audio
                                            greater rental could be obtained for the  casual film lover, the cineaste, the
          recordings, and private functions, and
                                            floor area as retail space. MIFF was  cinephile and whatever other category
          was home to eight film societies. It also
                                            required to vacate the ground floor  of film student exists, could feel at
          hosted a few CATHS’ meetings after
                                            theatre area at the end of 2007. A final  home in either.  ★
          the closure of the Carlton Movie
                                            35mm screening of Robert Altman’s A
          House in June 1999. Rather than
                                            Prairie Home Companion was held for
          operating as a profit-making venture,
                                            friends and guests on Saturday 8
          the MIFF regarded the low-rental
          cinema as a contribution to
          Melbourne’s film culture.
                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2008     9
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