Page 17 - CinemaRecord Edition 3-2003 #41
P. 17

What equipment?
            Simplex projectors with Western
          Electric sound heads on  universal
          bases, tended by Albert Boss, who had
          come to the Capitol as chief
          projectionist when it opened.
            The organist at the Capitol was
          Stanfield Holliday. He was quite a good
          organist and very popular. But there
          was a hate session between Bert Boss,
          chief projectionist and the organist. We
          had Brenkert spotlights in the
          projection room (see CR 43) and we
          used one near the slide machine to
          flood the organ, and Bert would come
          and freeze the carbons up so it made
          the carbons splutter, and you’d see
          Stanfield Holliday squirming on his
          organ seat, his head coming around a  Capitol House is now apartments, not
          little bit as if to say “what’s going on  commercial premises. Access to the lifts
          up there?” And Bert would say “Don’t  requires a key. Otherwise, Brian’s description of
          touch it, don’t touch the ruddy thing.”  the way to the projection room is still accurate.
                                             The unmarked first iron door (centre) and the
          Did you operate the famous ceiling
                                             bio room (below) as he knew it.
          lights, or was it done from backstage?
            They were operated from backstage
          when I was there. In recent years
          they’ve put them on electronic dimmers
          and they’re in the projection room now,
          but in those days there was an
          electrician on duty all the time the
          cinema was open.
            The whole theatre was on DC
          power (direct current) at that time too.
          On the roof above the projection room,
          on the roof of the cinema, we had to go
          up and start what’s called Roth
          converters, which converted DC to
          alternating current through an AC
          generator, or an AC alternator. There
          were two of them.
            We had to have AC to run the sound
          system, through the 41, 42 and 43
          amplifiers with large transmission-type
          valves. Just simple technology like
          triodes they used.
            Halfway through the day at the end
          of the afternoon session we had to go
          up on the roof and change over the
          Roth converters. We used to run one
          during the day and switch over to the
          other one for the intermediate and night
          Was DC power to allow low voltage for
          the lighting in the ceiling?
            No, the lights were on 240 volts, but
          the power was even DC on the power
          points. To boil water you couldn’t use
          an open element electric jug - it would
          turn the water black. I had to use an
          immersion heater to boil water to make
          a cup of tea.

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