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One Projectionist’s Life:

          From A Regent To The Regent

                                         Brian Quigley interviewed by Jim White
                                     Part 2: Metro’s Man

          JW - Do you remember the meetings
          that became an institution -when
          projectionist assistants would meet
          after work at Flinders Street Station?
            There was a fruit stall at the top of
          ramps 6 and 7, which was closed in the
          evening of course, but the ledge along
          the edge of it was where we’d all sit
          and chat, and there would be another
          group facing us, as if we were
          interviewing each other.
            And that’s where all the scuttlebutt
          was aired and probably got back to
          head office the next day - who had
          blackouts and who didn’t that night.
          And at a minute to twelve, because the
          last trains left at midnight, there was a
          scatter of projectionists to their
          respective trains. If you missed it, you
          were up for an all night tram fare.
            When last we talked you were
          working at the Plaza and had gone for
          an interview at the Metro Collins
          Street. Your boss said that if you stayed
          with Hoyts you would be next into the
          Regent, but you were determined to
          move to the Metro.
            My first meeting with the chief
          projectionist led to an interview with
          the manager at the Metro. Managers at
          MGM seemed to have more power than
          they did in Hoyts. Metro was
          centralized from head office in Sydney,
          everything came down from there.
          Finally I was informed that I would
          start on a Saturday in December 1951.
            I’d been up for a look around the
          projection room a couple of times
          during the week prior and was amazed
          at the set-up, inasmuch as they had
          enough equipment for almost two   Top: Full glass doors to brighten the frontage were installed at about the time Brian
          theatres. The idea was that with three  Quigley moved to the Metro.
          projectors and two sets of amplifiers  Above: The panelling of the main foyer, described by Building magazine as ‘warm in
          and a spare of everything, including  tone and consistent in texture.’ The poster for Men of Boy’s Town dates this image as
          prints, the show would never be off the  c.1942.
          air. So they covered it magnificently
          with first class equipment. No cost
          spared. They were always importing it
          from the USA, unbeknown to the

          12  2008 CINEMARECORD
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